It appears that The Dark Knight himself, Christian Bale, will be starring alongside Mark Wahlberg in the boxing movie The Fighter. The film, now being directed by David O. Russell (he, Wahlberg and Bale’s involvement are still being negotiated, by the way), will be financed by Relativity Media (first initiated by Paramount Pictures who will now only be distributing in the US) and is hoped to be in production this summer.
It may be an unfamiliar project to you, so here is the official synopsis for it:
[The Fighter] tells the story of Boston fighter “Irish” Mickey Ward and how he was helped to the world lightweight championship by half-brother Dicky Eklund. Eklund once decked Sugar Ray Leonard and went the distance against the boxing legend before forfeiting his career to drugs and crime. He redeemed himself by training Ward through his Rocky-like run to the title.
Although it may not be a project widely known by most, that certainly hasn’t been the case behind the scenes. It’s reportedly a property that’s attracted some of Hollywood’s biggest talent, from the likes of Matt Damon and Brad Pitt (both for the role which is opposite Wahlberg), as well as The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler and The Fighter?… coincidence?…).
Wahlberg has been the only person permanently attached to the film, with him still training his body into the state needed to play the lead role of Mickey Ward whilst the background arrangements were being dealt with. Bale will play his half-brother Dickey Ecklund, the one who tries to help him reach glory. There isn’t a finished script ready, but the most recent draft was written by Scott Silver and Lewis Colick (writers of 8 Mile and Ladder 49, respectively).
The director now brought on-board, Russell, perhaps got the job because he was recommended by Wahlberg as this won’t be the first time they’ve worked together – Russell also directed Wahlberg in both Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees, so hopefully their experience and comfort of working together will be an advantage to the production of The Fighter.
This is a project that I’ve had on my radar ever since I first heard about it. It stuck in my head because Wahlberg will be playing an Irish boxer (although I doubt that means Irish, Irish), and the fact it’ll give us a new boxing franchise other than Rocky that will hopefully be, you know… good.
Adding talent like Bale is never a bad thing – it’ll be really cool to see him work with Wahlberg for the first time. And of course there’s Russell, who’s film Three Kings, in particular, shows he really knows what he’s doing when it comes to directing an ambitious movie on a small-ish scale.
This is a project that has huge potential to be something pretty special, and I just hope the most is made out of it… something tells me, with this trio, that it will.
Do you like the sound of The Fighter? Are you interested to see Bale work with Wahlberg for the first time?
The Fighter is set to start production this July but no release date has been set as of yet.