The set of The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg as boxer Mickey Ward, now promises to be a volatile place, with Christian Bale signing on for a supporting role and David O. Russell (who famously called Lily Tomlin a c*nt) on to direct.
Pic 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.
Wahlberg will play Ward, a fighter who was losing bouts and was ready to hang up the gloves when his brother came back into his life. Bale will play Eklund, whose drugs and robbery spree drew him a 10- to 15-year sentence in state prison. There, he kicked drugs, became a model prisoner and emerged as a changed man who helped his brother reach the glory that eluded him.
The project first came together with Boston natives Wahlberg and Matt Damon toplining for director Darren Aronofsky. Damon dropped out and Brad Pitt was poised to replace him, but the picture still stalled. Then Aronofsky moved on.
Meanwhile, Wahlberg has continued to train for the pic and is in fighting shape. [Variety]
Aside from the tantrum guy working with tantrum guy angle, David O. Russell’s breakout movie was Spanking the Monkey, about a guy who F’s his own mother, which could give “Say hi to your motha for me” a whole new meaning. It also seems wrong that there’s a character named “Dicky” and Wahlberg won’t be playing him.