By Jeremy Kinser
Originally published on Advocate.com March 26 2012 5:01 PM ET
Gareth Thomas reveals that actor Tom Hardy is in talks to replace Mickey Rourke, who has decided he is too old to portray the gay rugby superstar in the planned film biography, in an interview with London's The Sun.
According to Thomas, the 59-year-old Rourke found the training necessary for the film was too intense. "I was talking to Mickey yesterday and basically we're now talking to other big-name actors who could play the part instead," Thomas says.
"We had talked about using computer-generated special effects with Mickey but we don't think that will be as realistic, so it's time to find someone new."
Thomas says 34-year-old Hardy, who'll star as villainous Bane in The Dark Knight Rises this summer, is in talks to take over the role in the film, which is expected to begin shooting this spring.
Thomas came out as gay in 2009 and retired from the sport last October. Last November, Rourke said he'd become interested in portraying Thomas after being inspired by a magazine profile he'd read about him. The actor, who received acclaim for his performance in the 2008 film The Wrestler, had even trained extensively with a gay rugby team in Los Angeles in preparation for the film.