Darren Aronofsky’s critically acclaimed 2008 movie The Wrestler followed a down-on-his-luck superstar named Randy “The Ram” Robinson. Past his prime and living in squalor, the film chronicled the hardships of former wrestlers after they’ve left the limelight and have to deal with the damage done to their bodies and minds. The Wrestler was a comeback capstone for star Mickey Rourke, and helped revitalize the career of co-star Marisa Tomei. Rourke even picked up a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama thanks to his performance.
Given the ambiguous-yet-tragic ending of The Wrestler, a sequel seemed unlikely. Yet there’s allegedly a Wrestler 2 in the worlds according to Natalya, a WWE superstar and cast member of the reality show Total Divas. In a bonus clip from Total Divas, Natalya said that her uncle-in-law Bret “The Hitman” Hart (wrestling royalty) received a call from someone that they were working on a sequel to The Wrestler. That someone was Aquaman star Jason Momoa.
According to Natalya, Momoa eventually called her and asked if she would like to co-star in the sequel to the Aronofsky film. If the project moves forward, she will play Momoa’s former lover, and will get to wrestle on screen.
You can check out the Total Divas bonus clip below.
As of now, there’s no word on Aronofsky’s involvement in the film, nor about the plot. This seems to be the first word of a sequel to the 2008 film, to the best of my knowledge.
Given Momoa’s age and what Natalya spoke about in the clip, I hope that this sequel to The Wrestler will focus on the current indie scene, which is a lot more popular today than it was a decade ago. Thanks to online merch and social media, a number of independent wrestlers have been able to carve out a good living for themselves. I also hope that the WWE isn’t involved in any way as they were with Stephen Merchant’s Fighting with My Family; breaking news of the sequel via Total Divas raises my concerns. I’m a bit worried about WWE management muzzling or micro-managing Natalya. There is more to the world of wrestling than WWE, yet the WWE tends to act like it’s the only worthwhile game in town.
I’m pretty intrigued by a sequel to The Wrestler. If you’re a lapsed wrestling fan of a certain age, you probably started following the business again because of The Wrestler or (more likely) CM Punk’s pipebomb promo in 2011. The most comparable moment in recent years is maybe the return of Jon Moxley, the pre-WWE character of dissatisfied WWE superstar Dean Ambrose. With so many podcasts about the business (e.g., Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling, How2Wrestling, The Steve Austin Show), great YouTube channels dedicated to wrestling content, the success of GLOW on Netflix, and the rise of AEW and NXT, there’s a passionate fanbase out there who want to see a movie about the road and the perils of in-ring work.
What do you think of a sequel to The Wrestler? Did you also shed a tear during one of those Kazuchika Okada/Kenny Omega matches for NJPW? Mark out in the comments below.