With his career redemption in full, plum-role-in-a-summer-blockbuster swing, Mickey Rourke suddenly has a lot of offers to consider, but the one he’s currently most interested in is playing Genghis Khan, the ruler of the Mongol Empire who is regarded as either one of history’s greatest military leaders or monsters, depending on what part of the world you’re talking to. (Also an option: history’s greatest great-great-great-great-great-great-etc. grandpa.) The actor told the Orlando Sentinel that the film will be written and directed by John Milius—the wordsmith behind other tough-guy favorites like Conan The Barbarian, Dirty Harry, and Apocalypse Now—who’s come up with a flashback-based “piece told from the son and grandson’s point of view, how they saw this mythic figure from their family.” And for anyone worried about the Charlton Heston-in-Touch Of Evil effect of Rourke playing one of history’s most famous Asians, perhaps you’ll be heartened to know that he’s already found something in common with Khan—namely, their shared love of dogs? (“The Mongols used dogs in battle, and dogs rarely made it out of the battle,” Rourke said. “But in one instance, in this script, he orders his men—‘Hold the dogs back.’ He was looking out for the dogs. I like that.”)
Not really? Well, seeing as there’s no official confirmation from Milius that said project is even happening, this could all be premature talk from a man who, God love him, isn’t exactly the most reliable source in Hollywood. But if it does happen, it definitely sounds like it could be one of those crazy, go-for-broke parts that could either be a surprise triumph or an epic embarrassment—and either way, it should be really fucking fascinating to watch.