Arm Acquires US Rights
Ontario, CANADA September 8, 2008 – Fox
Searchlight Pictures President Peter Rice today
announced that the company has acquired US rights
to the riveting drama THE WRESTLER, which had
its North American premiere last night at the
Toronto International Film Festival and won the
Golden Lion at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky and written by Rob
Siegel, THE WRESTLER stars Mickey Rourke, Marisa
Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. The film was produced
by Scott Franklin and Darren Aronofsky thru Protozoa
Pictures. Vincent Maraval, Agnes Mentre and Jennifer
Roth served as executive producers and Mark Heyman
co-produced. The film is scheduled to be released
in December 2008.
Fox Searchlight Pictures President Peter Rice,
"Darren Aronofsky has created an unbelievably
electrifying and compelling tale with tour de
force performances. We are delighted to be releasing
this brilliantly executed film and thank Wild
Bunch for choosing Searchlight."
Darren Aronofsky, "I've known Peter Rice
for many, many years and am excited and honored
to finally get a chance to collaborate with him
and his team."
Vincent Maraval "We are delighted to have
closed the deal with Fox Searchlight which we
believe is the best distributor for this movie."
in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson
(Mickey Rourke) was a headlining professional
wrestler. Now, twenty years later, he ekes out
a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling
fans in high school gyms and community centers
around New Jersey.
from his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and unable
to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives
for the thrill of the show and the adoration of
his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into
retirement. As his sense of identity starts to
slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of
his life -- trying to reconnect with his daughter,
and strikes up a blossoming romance with an aging
stripper (Marisa Tomei). Yet all this cannot compare
to the allure of the ring and passion for his
art, which threatens to pull Randy "The Ram"
back into his world of wrestling.
Darren Aronofsky presents a powerful portrait
of a battered dreamer, who despite himself and
the odds stacked against him, lives to be a hero
once again in the only place he considers home
– inside the ring.
deal was brokered on Fox Searchlight’s side
by Senior Vice President of Acquisitions Tony
Safford and Vice President of Business Affairs
Megan O’Brien. Creative Artists Agency (CAA),
which packaged the film, is handling the North
American rights. Darren Aronofsky was represented
by CAA and Carlos Goodman.
Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company
that both finances and acquires motion pictures.
It has its own marketing and distribution operations,
and its films are distributed internationally
by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures
is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit
of Fox Entertainment Group.
Piper, Mickey Rourke, Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine
and Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake at The
Wrestling Torch - 1st January 2009
In a few weeks, we'll know whether "The Wrestler"
will have a seat at the table for the prestigious
Academy Awards ceremony that recognizes the best
in movies for the year. Mickey Rourke is a virtual
lock to be nominated for Best Actor, as is Bruce
Springsteen's "The Wrestler" track for
Best Original Song in a movie.
WWE's Vince McMahon had a vote, he certainly wouldn't
pick "The Wrestler," as we reported
yesterday that McMahon believes the movie is below
WWE. The thematic material related to wrestling
is set in the long-forgotten territory era and
under-the-radar independent wrestling scene of
today, which gives the movie its gritty feel perfect
for Mickey Rourke's character.
wants to distance itself from pro wrestling, as
evidenced by corporate-friendly statements from
CEO Linda McMahon about the company not being
in the wrestling business, but the entertainment
genre, competing against the NFL, NBA, and entertainers
putting on rock concerts.
most-likely feels the movie being any way associated
with WWE would bring the company down to a level
they long-since tried to escape from. WWE's attitude
of superiority has been displayed in recent JBL
promos and the Shawn Michaels "employee"
storyline where HBK is willing to sell his soul
to JBL to prevent becoming Randy "the Ram"
real story continues to be wrestlers being gobbled
up and spit out if they aren't protective of themselves
and the investment they're making with their bodies.
Other than the two irreplaceables - John Cena
and Triple H - McMahon can always find someone
else to slide onto the card.
Wrestler" hits too close to home with McMahon,
who obviously doesn't want his company associated
with low-rent indy wrestling, but also because
he's the corporate face of a wrestling business
that couldn't generate mainstream interest unless
someone died or was blown up in a limo.
the positive accolades are going to a movie that
focuses on something outside the WWE machine and
not kids dancing in the ring with Finlay or WWE
touring Iraq. McMahon simply won't stand for that.
reader stonecoldmark commented on the article
we posted yesterday about WWE's official anti-"The
Wrestler" position after McMahon picked up
his movie screening in December. Here's what scmark
had to say:
Jake Roberts or Roddy Piper if any of what is
in "The Wrester" pertains to them. The
Wrestler is about what happens when the WWE dumps
these guys. Guys like Duggan are lucky Vince still
keeps them employed. Even HUGE stars like Hogan
and Flair can be included. Flair never knew when
to call it quits because it's all he's known.
Hogan would still give it a try if Vince gave
him a chance.
Wrestler should be a calling card for anyone that
wants to get into the biz, not everyone can get
a job in the big-time and if you do save that
money. This film speaks to not just wrestlers,
but can apply to any job where the excitement,
fame, and money can fade seemingly overnight.
Just ask Mickey Rourke. The movie is his life.
is right it's not the WWE, but does that mean
his guys are treated any better? Not on your life
with that schedule. I think wrestling five or
six days a week is just as bad as taking a stapler
to your head for one night on a Saturday in Secaucus.
Wrestler is not the WWE, however parts of do tell
part of the story of workers with the WWWE in
years gone by. Thank god that The Wrestler is
not the WWE, and Vince McMahon and the top brass
at the WWE have every right to distance themselves
from the film. At least some lessons got learned
along the way, and the WWE body count is not as
high as it once was. If pro wrestling schools
showed The Wrestler to potential students before
they signed on I think its likely that the sign
up rates for wrestling academy's would decline.
One needs to be mindful of what they wish for
- they might just get it. The Wrestler is a perfect
example of show business not being all it's often
cranked up to me, and in my position as a media
agent I'm in the position to know this. All respect
to Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine and many other
legends for supporting The Wrestler and Mickey
Rourke's effort. Piper's line about it being "not
his story, but it is my story" is classic,
but in reality Piper came out of the business
in better shape than most, and he still picks
up a WWE cheque from time to time. Are we one
step closer to a wrestling union? I doubt it,
but you never know. The US is cracking down on
gambling and other moral and ethics type matters,
but will they care enough to ensure professional
entertainers, wrestlers and the like don't end
up on the scrap heap when promoters are finished
getting their slice of meat from them? McMahon
has cleaned up his act a hell of a lot over the
past 5 years or so, and let's hope other wrestling
promoters do the same. The Wrestler gets 5 stars
for impact, story telling and acting, and talk
about a movie for the times.