Gareth Thomas Film Moves To Ireland As US 'Won't Get Wales'

Ben Arnold
Contributor

The long-in-gestation movie project inspired by Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas is reportedly moving the action to Ireland, over fears that the US market ‘won’t get Wales’.

The film, which is being developed by Mickey Rourke, was originally set to take on the story of Thomas coming out as the first openly gay professional rugby player in 2009.

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Rourke, who is of Irish descent, has been pals with Thomas for several years, and has been angling to make a film about his life for just as many.

But sources close to the production say that the film will now see Rourke playing a character called Mick 'The Blade’ Collins, and it will be called 'Irish Thunder’ instead.

Speaking to The Sun, an insider said: “Gareth was upset about being cut out, but hopes the story raises awareness of how hard it is for gay sportsman to come out.

“Nobody in America really understands rugby and there are fears they wouldn’t know much about Wales either.

“The film is very much inspired by Gareth’s story, but a lot has been changed and the action has been moved to Ireland.”

Filming of the project was previously set to start in 2013, with Tom Hardy linked to the lead role at one point.

But in February this year, Thomas told the Daily Telegraph that the project appeared to have fallen through.

“It was like a car crash,” he said.

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Image credits: WENN