David O. Russell's multiple Oscar-nominated film (and winner for the performances of Christian Bale and Melissa Leo) The Fighter was released on DVD/Blu-ray yesterday. The home video release also provided star Mark Wahlberg with the opportunity to reflect back on his experience making the film - and talk more about his hopes for The Fighter 2.
Wahlberg has discussed the possibility of a Fighter sequel before and now says that he's not only actively pushing for the project to happen, but he's already working out and keeping fit for when it does.
Real-life boxer Micky Ward's (Wahlberg) career flourished for several years following the events of The Fighter, as is mentioned during the film's epilogue. The true highlight of his career is generally considered not to be his winning of the welterweight title, but rather his three battles in the ring with Arturo Gatti from 2002 to 2003 - a vicious series of confrontations that cemented Ward's legacy and netted him some serious coinage, to boot.
Wahlberg touches on numerous Fighter-related topics during a recent discussion with Entertainment Weekly and had the following to offer, with regards to a sequel:
"I weigh about 185. But it’s still solid. Ready to throw down. I got bit by the bug, and now I’m trying to plant the idea in everyone’s head that we should do — not five or six Fighters like Rocky — but one more because the big thing that Micky Ward was famous for was his three epic battles with Arturo Gatti. So we’re talking about possibly taking one more run at it."
The actor also mentioned that the actual Micky Ward and his half-sibling Dicky Eklund (who was portrayed by Bale in The Fighter) are "both thrilled by the possibility."
The Fighter was as much Eklund's story as it was Ward's tale - so there's not only ample real-life material to be explored in a sequel, but the second film could also focus more directly on Ward's psychological and physical battle of wills with both Gatti and his own personal demons.
David O. Russell has recently been connected to numerous projects, though his proposed re-teaming with Wahlberg for Cocaine Cowboys looks less likely now that Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay are moving forward with their HBO series based off the same concept. Russell and Wahlberg remain set to work together on an Uncharted adaptation in the future, and seem to have established a solid working relationship as well. So their rejoining of forces for another Fighter pic is certainly feasible.
We'll keep you posted on the status of The Fighter 2 in the future.