Mickey Rourke to Appear as Randy “The Ram” Robinson at Wrestlemania 25?

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?

  • It’s really funny that this is happening because reports were that Vince McMahon hated this movie when he saw it. He didn’t think it was true to what wrestling is and that is because he has made millions of dollars on others work. But now that it got nominated for Oscars he suddenly did an about face and decided it was a great movie. Vince is such a tool.

  • Greg

    Rourke vs. Jericho is confirmed for WM 25.

  • Goon

    yeah, it was assumed Vince wanted nothing to do with it. but when retired star after retired star starts calling it the best thing ever and all the fans want to see it, he saw the $$$$

    i didnt catch raw but have already heard that they’re doing some angle with Chris Jericho and he’s calling out Rourke for some comment he made and pulling some ‘you’re an actor and think you’re a wrestler all of a sudden because you played one for 15 days’ angle.

    could be lame. but well, the WWE have integrated outside starts into Wrestlemania very well in the past.

    I’d say the only problem is that by associating with WWE, I wonder if any Oscar voters will be suddenly turned off and feel it cheapens the movie.

  • Isn’t this really sad? I mean Mickey Rourke can do what he wants to I guess, and I can see him being the kind of guy who would want to do this, but still… If he really is wrestling as Randy and not as Mickey Rourke it’s extremely sad, if it’s as Rourke, it’s just normal sad, the kind you’d expect.

  • Goon

    I don’t see it as sad. its a number of things, but not sad. its questionable as a successful marketing gimmick, its questionable as to the number of snobs who like the movie it will turn off, but if Rourke wants to do it for some fun and if the writer of the Ram character doesn’t mind, then anyone who looks down on it can suck a fuck, and apparently is very quick to forget the sympathy towards working wrestlers that the movie has.

    From Rourke’s standpoint, I’d say he may just be putting his money where his mouth is. He’s going around saying how he appreciates actual wrestlers because of the film, and now he plans to show it. So much better than just giving lip service while you collect awards, but because actual wrestling is ‘low art’ compared to Aronofsky’s actual film, people are going to shit all over it before anything actually happens.

    fuck that shit.

  • I don’t know man, but I guess a key thing would be if the writer of the Ram character doesn’t mind.

    Just seems weird to mix this stuff, but I guess that’s something wrestling does. As for sympathy towards working wrestlers, I’m quick to shake off that stuff. The Wrestler doesn’t work because it’s wrestling, and I still look at anybody who goes into wrestling as somebody who has chosen to commit acts of violence in public in exchange for money, not a person I have a whole lot of respect for. I mean, I think wrestling is pretty sad and pathetic to begin with, but that’s not why I would think this appearance would be weird, I just can’t help but think that Mickey Rourke might have a very different feeling about his performance than me and alot of other people might have. And I think making money off of the movie by stuff like this is pretty cheesy and low, no matter what the appearance is. Next thing you know, he’s hosting the MTV music awards in character.

  • Greg

    From what I saw, Vince is steering Jericho away from actually mentioning the film by name and from mentioning the Randy the Ram character. It’s all about Mickey Rourke the actor and his association with Ric Flair. Jericho is a young wrestler whos character is very snobish (and awesome). I think Rourke is going to represent the older wrestlers who are past their prime. It’s Wrestlemania weekend and that includes the Hall of Fame ceremonies, so all of the legends will be there.

    I’ll be the first to admit that all of the non wrestling celebrities that have been incorporated into storylines in the past haven’t quite worked. Huge hype and terrible match. None of those celebrities have wrestled against someone of the caliber of Chris Jericho. Dude could have a great match with a broom.

    Vince is smart enough to know how to play this out. Vince doesn’t like anything that has to do with wrestling that isn’t WWE product and who can blame him. But he knows money when he sees it. He’s no different than any other company CEO.

  • That’s a bit more normal I think. Vince (?) seems like an evil overlord though! If only that was also a wrestling image…

  • “they’re doing some angle with Chris Jericho and he’s calling out Rourke for some comment he made and pulling some ‘you’re an actor and think you’re a wrestler all of a sudden because you played one for 15 days’ angle.”

    Maybe they could get Sean Penn involved as well, and he could pull a “you’re a wrestler and all of a sudden you think you’re an actor” angle with John Cena.

  • Alex R. Cronk-Young

    How would it affect his chances at the Oscar if the Oscars are at the end of February and this isn’t until April? I really don’t care if he does. I won’t watch it either way.