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Gareth Thomas says Mickey Rourke has not pulled out of biopic

When Mickey Rourke announced his plans to portray Gareth Thomas in a biopic about the gay rugger, many questioned how the 59-year-old would play the character of a super-fit professional athlete in his early 30s. Over the weekend it seemed Rourke had finally decided that playing a character half his age was too much for him, and reports came that he was pulling out. But Thomas said Monday that rumors of 34-year-old Thomas Hardy replacing Rourke in the film are not true.

Any notion that Mickey is giving up on the role are way off the mark. We'd love Tom Hardy to be involved, but he will not be playing me.

I teamed up with Mickey because in my opinion there's nobody better to take on such a challenging role and nothing has changed there. He's so motivated by the role it's blown me away.

Thomas also tweeted that people shouldn't "believe the hype" when they hear stories of Rourke's exit.

The Sun had previously reported Thomas as saying they are moving on. But that story seems to have been scrubbed from The Sun's Web site. They had quoted Thomas as saying:

I was talking to Mickey and basically we’re now talking to other big-name actors who could play the part instead.

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.