It’s been known that Darren Aronofsky’s production company, Protozoa Pictures, had Robert Siegal’s script The Wrestler. But it’s only as of yesterday that we know Aronofsky is actually in talks to direct.
This’ll make half of a matched salt and pepper shaker set with The Fighter, the story of boxer Irish Mickey Ward, which Aronofsky also still slated to direct, though The Wrestler‘s start date is currently January 7 which means the fantastic director’s next film will be…a Nic Cage picture. Can we just change Cage’s name to Wallace Beery for the sake of this article?
The script recap: Cage is Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a burnt-out pro wrestler. He suffers a coronary, retires from the ring, works at a deli, marries a stripper and generally lives the American Dream, only out of tights instead of in them. Then the chance comes to square off again with his wrestling nemesis The Ayatollah, so back to the ring he goes.
This isn’t such an odd development. Aronofsky needs to make a picture or two that is relatively inexpensive and stands to make back a few bucks. I’m sure no one is more conscious than him of the fact that, as wonderful a film as The Fountain is, making that movie again (or the Biblical epic we know he’d like to do in the future) isn’t possible right now.
Several people have floated the notion that the hasty strike atmosphere might actually make for a couple of interesting pairings where a director could end up with unlikely material, and this seems like one of those deals. Here’s hoping that Aronofsky won’t end up sitting on a beach with a mysterious box at his feet, terminally bogged down in a movie he doesn’t have any ties to; I’d love to see him kill with both these pictures, then hit the ground running afterwards to tackle a project that’s near and dear to him.