Mickey Rourke may have lost Best Actor, but, as Sean Penn noted, the man is back. We’ll soon be seeing his perma-tanned ugly mug in a glut of new films (Iron Man 2, 13, Broken Horses, Sin City 2, St. Vincent, The Expendables). In each case, screenwriters will have to devise a character with a face as plausibly bizarre as Rourke’s own. And now that “aging wrestler” is out, they’ll have to get creative. To make their jobs easier, we offer the following suggestions.
Face/Off Redux (action film)
INT. SHADY SPY SHOP, CONVERTED INTO SURGERY ROOM
[Spooky surgeon lifts John Travolta’s face out of ice-filled cooler, places it on Rourke’s face.]
SURGEON: “Oh no … ”
ROURKE: [Voice muffled by ill-fitting second face] “What?”
SURGEON: “It doesn’t fit.”
ROURKE: [muffled] “Did I ask you if it fit? No! I asked you to put that motherfucking face on my motherfucking face.”
SURGEON: “But I’ll have to stretch it—”
ROURKE: [muffled] “You want me wear YOUR face instead?”
SURGEON: “Alright, alright … But it’s not going to be pretty … ”
Misguided Hate Crime (prestige drama)
EXT. URBAN ALLEYWAY, MIDNIGHT
GANGBANGER #1: [to Rourke] “Hey! Why you winking at me?”
GANGBANGER #2: “He’s doing it again!”
GANGBANGER #3: “You think you’re cute?”
ROURKE: “No, brother, it’s cool … ”
GANGBANGER #2: “Brother? Did he say ‘brother’? Racist mother—”
ROURKE: “I call everyone brother!”
GANGBANGER #1: “Hey, he’s winking at you again!”
ROURKE: “Whoa, put away the meat tenderizer, brother—
GANGBANGER #3: “Let’s mash his face up.”
ROURKE: [still winking]: “Brother, it’s not racism — it’s an astigmatism!”
The Bogart (mystery)
INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE, SIMILAR TO THAT OF DARK PASSAGE
ROURKE: “Doc, I gotta hide out. Nobody can recognize me. I can’t go to jail again … ”
DR. WALTER COLEY: “Ever see any botched plastic jobs? If a man like me didn’t like a fellow, he could surely fix him up for life. Make him look like a bulldog, or a monkey. I’ll make you look as if you’ve lived.”
Cut to: INT. BATHROOM. [Rourke looks at mirror.]
ROURKE: “Same eyes. Same nose. Same hair. Everything else seems to be in a different place … ”
Childhood Trauma (family film)
EXT. SUBURBAN BACKYARD, 1947
MOTHER: “No, Mickey, you’ll shoot your eye out!”
CUT TO: Doctor slicing ROURKE’s face open to remove embedded BBs.
DOCTOR: “There will be some scarring.”
MOTHER: “I knew this would happen!”
ROURKE: “Ma … [whining] I’m bleeding here!”
Jealous Boyfriend (gender-blind camp adaptation of Crazy Love)
Rourke, as LINDA PUGACH, wearing mumu and cradling three comically fuzzy poodles, opens door.
THUG #1: “Are you Linda?”
THUG #2: “This is from your ex-boyfriend.”
[Thug throws acid in Linda’s face. Face melts, fur melts off poodles.][Props: substitute Chihuahuas].
Origin Story (blockbuster)
INT. CHEMICAL FACTORY, DAYTIME
[All around are vats of bubbling liquid, rickety walkways, and rusty ladders. Rourke falls. His foot gets caught in a mass of tangled wires and only his face is dipped into the chemical vat.]
ROURKE: [face peeling off] “Argggh!”
FACTORY WORKER #1: “He’s … He’s … a … Robot!”
Wacky-Mistakes Montage (slapstick romantic comedy)
SERIES OF SHOTS:
While ice skating in Rockefeller Center on first date with wacky Zooey Deschanel type, Rourke falls down and little girl runs over his face with ice skates.
In hospital, wacky girlfriend tricks doctors into giving Rourke his roommate’s rhinoplasty, instead of reconstructing his jaw.
Kissing while driving down a tree-lined road leads to a silly car crash, and Rourke’s head gets stuck in the windshield. Beehive drops down from tree onto his face.
ROURKE: “I didn’t know you had a chimpanzee.” Wife’s pet eats Rourke’s face.
Girl dabs wedding cake on Rourke’s face, triggering severe allergic reaction.
During gymnastic sex act on honeymoon, Rourke shatters mirrored ceiling with face.
While recovering on Caribbean honeymoon, Rourke falls asleep on beach, suffering severe sunburn.
Exploding Psychic Squid (graphic novel adaptation)
Giant psychic squid explodes over 42nd Street. Rourke survives but is scarred.