Darren Aronofsky to direct The Wrestler

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Last week we told you that Nicolas Cage was in talks to star in Robert Siegel’s The Wrestler, which is in development at Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures. ComingSoon is now reporting that Aronofsky is actually going to direct this film, which is targeted for a January 2008 start.

I had actually heard that Aronofsky’s The Fighter is scheduled to go into production early next year. So it’s likely that Aronofsky will film the movies back-to-back. The big Hollywood strike was the best thing to happen to Aronofsky, who is coming off a box office failure with The Fountain (which to be fair, was one of the best movies of last year, but a hard film to market). Aronofsky is one of the best visual directors of this new generation of filmmakers.

The Wrestler follows a 1980s-era pro wrestling star named Randy “The Ram” Robinson who has become a burnt-out shell of his former self. Ram has a heart attack in a small-time match, and his doctor warns him that if he ever fights again, he would be risking his own life. In an effort to build a new life, Robinson takes a job at a deli, moves in with an aging stripper and tries to build a relationship with her son. But the prospect of a rematch with his old nemesis the Ayatollah proves too tempting to resist, even if it means risking his life.

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