News You Need: Aronofsky and Rourke to ‘Wrestle,’ ‘Star Trek’ Explained, Verhoeven to Direct Remake Sequel

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Harley Davidson in a Wrestling Picture: Mickey Rourke is set to play Randy “The Ram” Robinson in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” Variety reports.

Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke
Photo credit: Steve Granitz,

The role was previously reported as being played by Nicolas Cage. It had been previously unclear as to whether Aronofsky would direct. The film is set to shoot beginning in Jan. 2008.

Aronofsky has been denying association with numerous projects since the release of “The Fountain” this time in 2006.

These include a fast-tracked thriller set in the world ballet (“Black Swan”), a biopic on boxer Mickey Ward (“The Fighter”) and a Noah’s Ark epic (which Aronofsky himself is writing). The shoot date fits with recent comments Aronofsky made on his blog.

“[N]othing you’ve seen online or anywhere is accurate,” Aronofsky wrote on Oct. 1. He added that the real and then-unannounced project would shoot in Jan. 2008.

“The Fighter” seemed most likely next as it was set to star Mark Wahlberg and Brad Pitt. The film was originally to reunite Wahlberg with his “Departed” co-star Matt Damon until Pitt replaced Damon.

This was viewed odd at the time of the announcement since Pitt dropping out of “The Fountain” in 2002 led to a production delay of three years.

Rourke, whose career has been recently revived since “Sin City,” spent the early 1990s returning to his teenage career of boxing. Did you know, according to Wikipedia, he was originally offered Bruce Willis’ role in “Pulp Fiction” and was edited out of “The Thin Red Line”?

Space… A Confusing Frontier: Just when we asked for more clarification on J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot, IESB has published a lengthy, spoiler-filled rumor to answer the question.

While the report emphasizes spoilers, it’s relatively tame information that will probably be featured in a first full-length trailer. (I don’t mean the other rumored teaser, which will allegedly show the Enterprise being built.)

The rumors do sound interesting. Read on to see how and if the 11th “Star Trek” connects to the greats of the series, from the best movie (“The Wrath of Khan”) to the best Original Series episode (“The City on the Edge of Forever”).

Update: AICN has an angry email response from “City’s” teleplay author, Harlan Ellison.

‘Thomas Crown 2’ Now to Feature Boobs, Jesus Imagery: Paul Verhoeven told a Dutch radio program he will direct a sequel to John McTiernan’s “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which itself is a remake of Norman Jewison’s 1968 version.

Paul Verhoeven
Paul Verhoeven
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

According to this translation, “The Topkapi Affair” will combine elements of Eric Ambler’s novel (“The Light of Day”) and its earlier film adaptation. The almost confirmed casting has Angelina Jolie co-starring.

While the original remake was fine, this is sad considering Verhoeven’s recent pledge to get out of Hollywood filmmaking.

He was supposed to shoot another Dutch film (“Kneeling on a Bed of Violets”) in 2007. His last film (“Black Book”) is still in my top five of films released in 2007. It’d be nice if McTiernan himself would direct this if he weren’t so tied up going to jail.

By Shane Hazen
Staff Writer's picture

Interview: 'The Wrestler' director Darren Aronofsky on Rourke

Our interview with “The Wrestler” Director Darren Aronofsky on Mickey Rourke’s comeback can be found here.

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