Mickey Rourke to Play Genghis Khan in New John Milius Film

April 22, 2010
Source: Orlando Sentinel

Mickey Rourke

Now this will be interesting to see! Actor Mickey Rourke revealed to the Orlando Sentinel recently (via The Wrap) that he will be playing Genghis Khan in a new biopic movie being directed by John Milius. "I’m playing Genghis," Rourke said. "John wrote [the] piece [as] told from the son and grandson’s point of view, how they saw this mythic figure from their family. You see him in flashbacks, back when he was in his mid-40s." Interesting concept and bold to cast Rourke in the role. I'll say that he has the potential to knock it out of the park with this one, although Milius hasn't directed anything since Rough Riders on TV in 1997.

Milius is mainly a screenwriter, known for his scripts for Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, Apocalypse Now, Conan the Barbarian, and Red Dawn. He also directed Dillinger, Conan, Red Dawn, Farewell to the King, and Flight of the Intruder, but hasn't done anything in the last decade. Rourke seems to be a bit skeptical, too, despite agreeing to the role. "I read his script and you know, the man is known for his tough writing. He wrote Conan and Dirty Harry and Apocalypse Now, and it’ll be interesting to see how he works behind the camera." The production will shoot in India and possibly China, but no word on when it's supposed to start.

One reason Rourke took the role is because of his love of dogs (remember his chihuahua?) and apparently Khan was a dog lover, too. "The Mongols used dogs in battle, and dogs rarely made it out of the battle. But in one instance, in this script, [Khan] orders his men – 'Hold the dogs back.' He was looking out for the dogs. I like that." Um, okay? He also claims he can rides horses pretty damn well. "The horseback riding won’t be too much of a problem. I probably ride a horse better than I drive a car." This sounds intriguing and I'm interested, but I need to hear (or see) more about it before I'm totally sold. What do you think?

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  • DiR3cT
    But he's not Mongolian, let alone Asian (I know its acting but I can't accept it). Mongol only came out what two, three years ago.
  • Daniel Felts
    Rourke's a good guy. I don't care that he's white and not Asian. I still might watch it.
  • Rashad
    casting him is a joke
    • H Jager
      Hi Rashad, You ain't seen nothing yet! Watch John Wayne as Gengis Khan ! Rourke will be OK.
  • M
    Did everyone involved forget the last time a white guy got cast as Genghis Khan? Much more interested in a potential followup to Bodrov's Mongol.
  • Kris
    This like having a White guy play Obama, seriously this is one of the stupidest things ever.
    • who cares
      Hi Kris, Relax, it's only a movie, - and then remember that White Guys Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier played a thouroughly Black Othello. So, Rourke will be OK.
  • People's Champ
    He's a really good actor, but this is ludacris.
  • Chris H.
    I agree with #6. I love Rourke, but this was a mistake in casting.
  • graffiti bandit
    Ridiculous. Now let's see Hollywood cast an Asian-American to play Alexander the Great.
  • Colt
    could care less if he's not asian. I love Rourke and will be seeing this one!
  • Dan W
    I'm sayin...first John Wayne and now Rourke? I don't get it
  • Pretentious Duche
    Mickey has been cobboled together from so many different parts, he has evolved beyond race.
  • marcusnyce
    Like #6 pointed out, I would have cast Ludacris... maybe Will Smith, but whatever.
  • Rick Hithouse
    Also see Jake Gyllenahaal-prince of persia Idris Elba-Thor...
  • DoomCanoe
    oooohhh.... that's some AWFUL Casting
  • Link1983
    Why is it in whenever I read "Mickey Rourke" I automatically say to myself "was robbed of his oscar"?
  • conner666
    WTF? do we really need this? Mongol was a great movie, and this is unneccessary. I suppose he will also be speaking English, we know how we have to dumb down things for our wonderful American audiences. I think I will skip this.
  • me
    Mongol was epic! This is an offence. Rourke riding horses and fighting with swords? lol. He's a great actor and all that but he just doesn't fit. The Great Khan has to come out this year, I think...
  • Mike
    With Obama in the White House, we have truly entered a era of post racialness. First Avatar has white actors playing Asian characters, and now Mickey Rourke can play a Mongolian. I can't wait for the remake of Malcolm X, where Brad Pitt plays Malcolm.
  • Hien
    This is so absurd. It really shows how little progress Asians have made in Hollywood - especially since it's been over 50 years since another white guy played such a polarizing Asian historical figure. Hopefully Mickey tapes his eyes. You know, to really make it REALLY authentic. BTW Mickey, these stories about Genghis and his dogs are most likely not true. Since the Mongols didn't have a formal written language, everything we think we know about Genghis is from stories, legends, and other writings. Man...what's next? George Costanza going to play General Mao? Maybe Matt Damon can play the Dalai Lama or Muhammad Akbar.
  • tazz
    this is dumb theres nothing wrong for comic book or any fantasy characters changing race on film but this is a biopic of Genghis Khan. you need to have a actor of the same race to play Genghis Khan and that is a Asian actor not a white actor. #13 Idris Elba is playing Heimdall in Thor so thats not a big issue cause first of his not playing the main character Thor his play a supporting character in comicbook/fantasy movies most or every comicbook movies supporting roles been playing by someone of a different race. but this is real person you cant do a biopic of Genghis Khan who is asian and dont cast a asian character to play the character.
  • Roderick
    Why does hollywood keep doing this... Seriously, another white actor for a asian role... And there is no debate about this one. Ghengis Khan is a Asian historical figure... The next bruce lee biopic movie, they should have Joseph Gordon-Levitt play bruce lee...*sarcasm*
  • Roderick
    #8 actually no, they'd still go with a white actor. Apparently White actors can play any race. Actually, Morgan Freeman was the second choice to play Mandella. They actually wanted Jack Nicholson to play Mandella first, but on the part of Nicholson thinking that is the most racist and most ridiculous casting hollywood could have ever made!!! He turned it down, and Morgan Freeman nabbed the role.
  • nelson
    how about jackie chan playing abraham lincoln this is dumb
  • Roderick
    ugh... where do you go to complain about this type of stuff?
    • who cares
      You complain by not watching the movie!
      • hjs
        And you are typical of white apologists.  It is never rascism.  There is always a reason why it is okay.  Let me guess, the Klan wore sheets because it was just cooler during the summer heat, right?  The Cross burnings are just pilot fires for the bbqs.
  • roke
  • Peter
  • Peter
    Please put a stop to Hollywood's Racial War on Asian Americans.
  • Nonioko
    Genghis Khan is a Mongolian guy. Let's put some oriental or black guy as George Washington or John Kennedy in next Hollywood. Another thing is they will still portray him as a bloodthirsty monster for sure. His army had killed many people in different wars. But it was not todays world. War is war. But he was NOT a monster or somekind of bloodthirsty killer. History has been misinterpreted for long time same as Hollywood portray Asian people with white man. He was portrayed badly because of history which was written by his enemies. Please check out following book and you will understand who was Genghis Khan. "Genghis Khan & the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford
  • SlashBeast
    It just goes to show how little regard these studios have for non-white actors. What's the problem with casting an actual Mongolian actor? Along with this and The Last Airbender it proves that asian actors haven't made any progress at all.
  • Roderick
    #29, i diassagree. Asian actors have made progress, just not on the big screen. John Cho is doing an amazing job on ABC's Flashforwrd as a FBI cop, he doesn't do kung fu at all. Its a dramatic role and his character is engaged to a black woman, which is awesome! Jin in Lost is also an amazing strong asian character. So television has made awesome leaps for asian male actors, its said hollywood hasn't caught on yet.
  • SlashBeast
    ^ Oh, wow. HUGE leaps.
  • Roderick
    go f*ck yourself slashbeast.
  • James Ho
    Fuck hollywood! I cannot believe that they're still doing yellow face like they've done in Airbender and the movie "21." Why do they constantly leave out the Asian male in movies!? How would these racist anti-Asian hollywitz directors like it if Jackie Chan or Jet Li played George Washington or Abraham Lincoln in an old movie!? Why not have John Cho or Daniel Dae Kim act as Genghis Khan? This is a complete slap in the face. Don't worry, ameriKKKa won't survive too long as a nation. Keep up this racist crap, and I pray that this country fails miserably!!!!! >(
  • Dumbasses
    There is no way in hell anyone should go pay to see this. Come on the casting is just atrocious. Maybe Chow Yun Fat can star as George Washington in a movie on the American Revolution.
  • Obzervi
    Why is everyone here so obsessed with race? I thought race doesn't exist, yet these people are constantly talking about it.
  • Charlemange
    Hollywood is no better than the KKK. Casting a white man to play Genghis Khan is disgusting and racist. You would never see John Cho playing Lincoln would you? FU Hollywood and FU to anyone who thinks this is okay.
  • Charlemange
    Hollywood is no better than the KKK. Casting a white man to play Genghis Khan is disgusting and racist. You would never see BD Wong playing Ben Franklin would you? FU Hollywood and FU to anyone who thinks this is okay.
  • angry guy
    why does hollywood hate asians so much?
    • who cares
      Hollywood does note hate Asians, but the name of the game is money, box-office money. AND it is called Show-BUSINESS. So, they cast who they think will bring in the most money. So all you angry guys relax, and boycott the movie, that will hurt the "racist" movie producers. the
  • SlashBeast
    Yes, Roderick, I'm going to go fuck myself because you suck at arguing. The biggest leaps you can give me are a few actors on TV? Some progress, eh. It won't be long before they take over the airwaves. Asians haven't progressed in any way and this proves it.
  • Governor
    #35 - Obzervi Denying race is just as harmful as discriminating race.
  • Katie
    Come on guys, he's a great actor and with the right make-up on, he'll look like Asian! Besides, Gerard Butler played Attilla who was Hun. Huns had come from Asia-Mongol to be specific... Attilla himself was yellow, very short and very ugly, and he was played by a gorgeous man-but I don't remember any negative comments about that! Mickey is not even good-looking any more...
  • Daenerys Targaryen
    First, I think that having a whitey playing an asian alpha-male is racist. Would they have suggested a white man for an asian character who were a loser? I dont think so. When the asian/black/another non-white is a great man/woman, Hollywood mades him/her white. When it is a secondary character or a stupid, then they let him/her be non-white. Second, Genghis Khan actually feared dogs. It was one of the few weaknesses that man had. Poor Mickey Rourke if he discover that!
    • Fugh
      Totally agree. I'm no racist as I m born n bred in a multiracial country. And have extended families of various ethnic. But seriously, the Great Khan ; Mickey Rourke? Why don't they ask Sigourney Weaver to do it! Just dress her as a man. Damn!!
  • John
    Sad if this is true. Hollywood really sucks. Damn LA is majority Hispanic, but you wouldn't know what from watching movies. Anyway, white men must be portrayed as almight in America. Whites have been appropriating other culture and calling it their own for the longest time without any credit.
  • Yellowface in America
    You guys think Hollywood is bad, look at fortune 500 companies, less than a hand full are non-white. Asian dominates more than 50% at the UC level, and a lot of us are doctors, lawyers and engineers, but we can not be a CEO of the company, c'mon give me a break with a kit kat pls! Oh yeah, back to Hollywood, don't forget 'The Dragon awful Ball Z' movie, if it aint't it ain't right folks!
  • Yellowface in America
    *if it aint't white it ain't right folks!
  • andy
    Genghis Khan was actually Nordic, although he was the leader of Mongolia.
  • Daenerys Targaryen
    Nordic? It was said Genghis Khan was red haired and amber-yellow eyed. This was the Chinese picture of him, but we don´t know how his actual features were. It is possible he was half-blooded, of mixed heritage (Russian-Mongolian, perhaps?). It is possible the picture that Chinese did was more literacy than actually true. Nobody knows. But he is the symbol of Mongolia, and I think he will be portrayed by an asian, if not a mongolian actor.
  • viewer
    Alexander the Great is the symbol of ancient Greece, but he was portayed by an Irish actor! Leonidas is the symbol of Sparta, but he was portrayed by a Scottish actor! The same Scottish actor played Attilla, the symbol of Huns! Zang Ziyi (sorry for the wrong spelling) played a gheisha and was really good at it, although she is Chinese! My point is that either we shouldn't pay much attention to the origin of the actor, or we should react everytime something like that happens! All of these comments look like you have a problem with Mickey himself!
  • Daenerys Targaryen
    I admit, true. I don´t like the actor and I like very much the character.
  • Sean
    Viewer that is so stupid! Casting Whites to play Whites is not something anyone should be concerned with. Casting Whites to play Asian's or Blacks IS the issue. Color and race not ethnic groups. If you don't see the difference between casting Nikki Amuka-Bird to play Michelle Obama in a movie and casting Camille Coduri to play her as well then all hope for you is lost.
  • HalfMongolian
    This bullshit actor, fuck off you dirty white european slaves! Genetic shows most mongolian are pure accept for the 15% european female slave genes. Genghis khans decendants paternal haplogroup is C3 which means he was 100% asian. Even if he had blonde hair,red hair, blue eyes it don't mean anything. Because mongolians have 100% asian faces who blue eyes or blonde hair, red hair. Take a look at youtube videos of mongolians with eyes and hair color. You'll find many mongolian with full asian asian facee and with red hair and blue eyes!
    • Kopa
      That's nonsense, you subhumans never had white European women as slaves. Let me try to knock some sense into your underdeveloped animal brain. The original inhabitants of mongolia were the Tocharian people whom were 100% white, this is where the 15% of human DNA comes from. The ugly droplets you see with light hair and light eyes in your country are descendants of the Tocharians. It's genetically impossible for you to have blue eyes and blonde hair, that is purely a European trait. You are right gengis khan did have blue eyes and blonde hair according to all Chinese chronicles. Not a big surprise for me, you low life forms have always been weak and inferior.
  • HalfMongolian
    Europe has been conquered by full asiatic and half asiatic invaders for an very long time. Almost 600 years altogether this is why they wan't change history with pathetic movies like this. White slaves, do you even understand genetics? Even european scientists has proven we belong to mongolian haplogroup with some dirty white female slave genes amouting to 15% in mongolian people. Have you even seen mongolian with red hair or blue eyes? they look 100% asian.You dirty white slaves! Don't mix brown skinned southeast asian or east asian chinese,japanese,korean ect with central asians. We are asian but different but I much rather see some chinese or japanese actor take the role than this ugly zombie face.
  • Some Guy
    Is this new Genghis Khan movie supposed to be a comedy? I mean, John Milius is obviously not aiming for realism. Does he actually expect this movie to be taken seriously by casting a white man to play one of the most well-known figures in history?
  • Alew
    Great another David Caradine. Put some sticky tape to make his eyes slanty and he will be perfect. Hollywood can go screw itself. I hope Khan rises from the grave and chops off his head. HE IS NOT ASIAN!! If an Asian can't get and Asian role that is disgraceful
  • Babana_ni
    im 100%mongolian.....i live in eu...i love ware/historish movies...i watched every chinggis khan movies/docu's ...there are good as i expected but.when i see thes movies..i feel great....that's no big deal.....If hollywood make movie about chinggis khan.than i expect movies like troy/glidator enz....u kno.good movie....and one thing must be perfect.thats the real history of chinggis khan. not one man fantasie! good luck
  • Babana_ni
    im 100%mongolian.....i live in eu...i love ware/historish movies...i watched every chinggis khan movies/docu's ...there are NOT good as i expected but.when i see thes movies..i feel great....that's no big deal.....If hollywood make movie about chinggis khan.than i expect movies like troy/glidator enz....u kno.good movie....and one thing must be perfect.thats the real history of chinggis khan. not one man fantasie! good luck
  • Mongolian American
    I will advise anyone for not watching this movie. Period!
  • Chingiz Khagan was Turkic, not oriental-Asian. The Steppe people were primarily Turkic in ethnicity, with some substantial Iranian and what would now be called 'Cossack' sub-groups. Chingiz was around six feet tall, medium-bronze in skin tone, had auburn-blonde hair and green eyes. Of his descendents only Kublai Khan looked significantly 'Asian' in the modern sense, which was why he was appointed the Il-Khan of the Qin. The name Temujin itself is a Turkic word meaning 'skilled iron smith'. Mickey Roarke isn't exactly Turkic, but he's a Hell of a lot closer to Chingiz in appearance than a Korean gymnast would be. Get your history right or shut your mouth, Hollywood morons.
  • Bela & Sayeed
    Mickey Rourke should be severely thrashed for even daring to accept this role! And his reasoning? Genghis Khan liked dogs???? What sort of a moronic reasoning is that? I am dreading this fella's! Something seriously wrong with John 'DEEP SHIT' Milius! There are many Asian actors (Orgil Makhhan was very good in 2005 tv movie, Genghis Khan), far more talented than Mr. Mickey has been! Perhaps the Chinese movie industry will take notice and preempt this heresy by Holywood, by making the real Genghis Khan :-)
  • Oyd
    That's because Mickey Rourke looks a lot closer to gengis khan than any Asian does. The medieval mongols had nothing to do with today's 'mongolians' , if you read medieval Chinese chronicles about the physical appearance of gengis khan you will realize that they are depicting a pure white man. Just a brief summary of some quotes. "He was tall, and broad chested. Blued eyed, with a bushy reddish blonde beard." Have you seen any Asian recently that fits this description? This movie is actually on point, unlike some ignorant posters here, it seems like the directors actually did some research into what race gengis khan really was.




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