There’s no question that Fox Searchlight and the WWE have been scratching each others backs for a little while now with regards to Darren Aronofsky’s film The Wrestler. Vince McMahon probably sees the movie as a way to legitimize wrestling and gain appreciation in the mainstream, while Fox knows that wrestling fans are a major market that can be tapped to give the film a box office boost. A couple of weeks ago they released a roundtable discussion with old school wrestlers commenting on the realism of Mickey Rourke’s performance. Now it looks like they’re about to put Rourke’s training to the ultimate test by inviting him to participate in Wrestlemania 25!
While on the red carpet last night for the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards in Hollywood (where he was unfortunately bested by Sean Penn), Rourke revealed that he may be stepping into the ring for real in Houston on April 5th:
“The boys from the WWE called me and asked me to do it… I said, ‘I want to.’ I’m talking with Rowdy Roddy Piper about it.”
It sounds like there are some details still to be worked out, but it could be a fun way to play on his fictional character, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, and help promote the film at the same time. But would it be a good career move? Could it hurt his chances for an Oscar? I’m sure there would be some decent money in it for him, so that’s always a plus. Personally I’d love to see this happen just the one time (not that I actually plan on watching Wrestlemania), but Vince McMahon does have a reputation for taking advantage of people. Rourke is an actor first and foremost, so let’s not have him making repeat appearances every week. Thoughts?