Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg Go Mano y Mano
Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:32:30
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Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg will hit the boxing ring in The Fighter, which will now be directed by
David O. Russell. Paramount will distribute the film on a limited domestic level with Relativity Media financing. Production is slated to launch in July pending contract with Bale and Russell.
The film will follow Wahlberg as Boston brawler "Irish" Mickey Ward, the world's lightweight champion, and his half-brother Dicky Ecklund who fought the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard and eventually turned to a life of drugs and crime. Bale will assume the role of Ecklund, who sought redemption for his failures including a 15-year jail sentence, which was a good behavior-shortened stint, by training Ward for the title.
The Fighter has been languishing in development for a bit, with Matt Damon and director Darren Aronofsky initially attached to the project. The picture stalled, Brad Pitt was once mentioned as a replacement for the departed Damon, and Aronofsky eventually bailed. Wahlberg, a Massachusetts native, has been involved from the get-go. He is training for the film and is said to be in fighting shape.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff