Ever since Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke has bounced back into the forefront of movies - though Rourke credits Sin City and Once Upon a Time in Mexico as the start of his comeback. Previously, filmmakers would have balked at the idea of casting Rourke in their movie but these days his name appears to be on a lot of minds.
As we all know, Rourke will be seen in Iron Man 2 - playing the villain Whiplash. But what else does Rourke have lined up?
It appears the actor may be playing one of the mightiest warriors the world has ever seen - Genghis Khan.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, while promoting Iron Man 2, Rourke said that he will be playing Khan in a film written by John Milius (Apocalypse Now).
Here's what he had to say:
"I’m playing Genghis... John [Milius] wrote as a piece 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. And back then, being in your mid-40s was being REALLY old."
Rourke is reportedly excited about the role. But, if you're wondering if the 57-year-old actor is up to what will likely be a demanding role, fear not as Rourke sounds well prepared:
"I rode quite a bit, back in the day. The horseback riding won’t be too much of a problem. I probably ride a horse better than I drive a car. There’s going to be some archery from horseback called for that I have to do, so that’ll be interesting, physically."
The Wrestler showed Mickey Rourke could get in serious shape.
Rourke is definitely interested in Khan - and thinks he'll be a fascinating character to play. "Historically, if you read about the guy, he was a mystery," says Rourke. As many people are aware, Rourke is a dog-lover (specifically chihuahuas), an aspect of his life the actor shares with Khan:
"One of the things I like about Genghis Khan was his love of dogs. The Mongols used dogs in battle, and dogs rarely made it out of the battle. But in one instance, in this script, he orders his men – ‘Hold the dogs back.’ He was looking out for the dogs. I like that."
Whatever it takes to get into character, right?
There's been no official announcement, and Rourke's comment is the first we've heard of the film - as the Genghis Khan project doesn't appear anywhere on IMDB. If the news is true, and I'm betting there's at least some truth to it (why would Rourke be saying so much about it?), then I have mixed feelings about Rourke in the lead role.
On one hand, Rourke is a badass and I think he'd do great in the role. However, on the other hand, Rourke is American, while Genghis Khan was Asian - Mongolian, specifically. I guess if the performance and presence are both strong enough then maybe it isn't a deal breaker for the actor to be the same race. But I can't imagine I'm alone in having reservations about the casting.
We'll keep you updated as to whether or not Rourke really is playing Genghis Khan.
Would you like to see Rourke in the role or should an actor match a historical figure exactly? We'd love to hear your thoughts on this news.