Fox Searchlight Gets Wrestler

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 is scheduled to be released in December 2008.

Rice says “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.”

Added 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.”

Back 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.

Estranged 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.

Director 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.