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Gareth Thomas biopic could begin production in April, Rourke still in starring role

Rourke (left) and Thomas

It's been a couple years since Mickey Rourke and Gareth Thomas teamed up to develop a film about the gay Welsh rugby player's life. Funding and producing a film is no easy task, no matter what the budget. This film has also struggled with what is either a huge boon to the project or a big, heavy anchor: 60-year-old Rourke insists on playing Thomas' character in his 20s and 30s. Thomas wrote about that piece of the project for The Guardian over the weekend:

Mickey Rourke can almost finish my sentences. He understands where I have been because he has been there, too. There's a lot people don't know about him and it's the same with me. That's why he's the right person to play me.

While The Guardian piece says the film is set to begin production in April, the project is not yet listed on Rourke's IMDB page and is listed as "in development."

South Wales Argus earlier this month had an article profiling one of the film's new executive producers, a Welsh businessman named Daniel O'Connell. From that piece:

Mr O’Connell said: “Mickey mentioned then that they were struggling to bridge the gap in funding for his film about Gareth’s life.

“He knew I was in the financial services industry and invited me to become one of the film’s executive producers.”

While it may seem odd that a businessman would suddenly become an executive producer on a film, that's what executive producers do: They raise money. It's a smart move by Rourke to bring in people like O'Connell for the project.

Hat tip to Towleroad.