It appears Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg really want to work together.
Originally set to be directed by “The Wrestler’s” Darren Aronofsky, the drama will now be under the direction of moody cineaste David O. Russell. The picture will now be fully financed by the seemingly endless pockets of Relativity Media, the company who is behind the Weinstein Company’s “Nine,” recently purchased the Rogue Pictures label from Universal Pictures and invested a substantial sum into Lionsgate. However, because of the history of the project, Paramount Pictures is still set to distribute domestically.
Based on a true story, “Fighter” tells the true story of Boston fighter “Irish” Mickey Ward who reached the world lightweight championship with the assistance of his half-brother Dicky Eklund. Eklund was a potential star himself until destroying his career by turning to drugs and crime. He turned his life around by helping Ward through a surprising title run. The project has been a passion project of Wahlberg’s for years (he’s been training off and on since at least the beginning of 2008) who will play Ward. Eklund has had a number of suitors before Bale including Matt Damon and Brad Pitt.
Wahlberg previously worked with Russell on “Three Kings” and “I Heart Huckabees” making him one of the few actors in Hollywood to work with the mercurial filmmaker more than once. Bale, who everyone knows isn’t shy about voicing his own opinions, will be seen next in May’s “Terminator Salvation” and Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies.”
It’s still unclear whether either actor will star in the much-buzzed about “Prisoners.”
Assuming all the details can be worked out, “The Fighter” should finally step into the ring this July.