Director David O. Russell and Christian Bale are negotiating to join the long-in-development boxing flick The Fighter, which already has Mark Wahlberg attached, according to a report by Variety.
The Fighter tells the story of Boston fighter Irish Mickey Ward and how he was trained to the world lightweight championship by half-brother Dicky Eklund, who went the distance against the great Sugar Ray Leonard before forfeiting his career to drugs and crime. He redeemed himself by training Ward through his run to the title.
Wahlberg will play Ward, and Bale will appear as Eklund, whose crime spree drew him a 10 to 15 year stretch in prison. After beating drugs and becoming a model prisoner, he emerged a changed man who helped his brother reach the glory that eluded him.
The genesis of the project began with Boston natives Wahlberg and Matt Damon starring with Darren Aronofsky at the helm. Damon dropped out and Brad Pitt was to replace him, but the picture fell apart and Aronofsky also ditched.