The Fighter has been struggling to make it to the big screen for the last two years, and is finally back on track with David O Russell at the helm. Production is set to begin in a couple weeks, and the final casting announcements are being made.
Academy Award-nominated actress Amy Adams is in final negotiations to star opposite Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg in the sports bio. Adams will play “a tough, gritty bartender and former college high-jumper” who ends up dating Wahlberg’s character. I can just imagine Adams performance now, complete with what I’m sure will be a very believable Massachusetts accent. But could it possibly rival Amy Ryan’s performance in Gone Baby Gone?
The film tells the story of Dicky Eklund (Bale), a real life boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded after a run of drugs and crime. Shepherded his half-brother “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg), Dicky had a Rocky-like rise to the world lightweight championship. Ward fought throughout the mid-’80s and ’90s, but he’s best remembered for three battles with Arturo Gotti, two of which went down as the greatest in the history of the sport.
The project was originally set up under Darren Aronofsky, with Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon attached to play the leads. The project stalled after Damon moved on and the writers strike hit, even with Brad Pitt offering up his services. 8 Mile scribe Scott Silver was brought on board to rewrite the script. When I last interviewed Aronofsky, he made hopeful comments about the project. But I could tell that The Wrestler probably filled his sports film ambitions, and that the filmmaker was ready to move on to other things. Mark Wahlberg has continued to train for the role despite the countless setbacks, and is still expected to star as “Irish” Micky Ward.