Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
No, this is not an old news item. Yes, Brad Pitt single handedly almost ruined Requiem For a Dream director Darren Aronofsky’s third film The Fountain, b y walking away from the project weeks before shooting was to begin (Sets were almost completed, and the production shut down put hundreds of people out of work). When I talked to Aronofsky during his promotion for what became the second more low budget incarnation of The Fountain starring Hugh Jackman, he had nothing but great things to say about Pitt, which shocked me. He said that Pitt lost faith in the film, and I got a sense (although he never said it outright) that Pitt also lost faith in Aronofsky. So it comes as a huge surprise that Brad Pitt has now in final negotiations to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in Aronofsky’s The Fighter. But what about Matt Damon? He’s out. That’s right, Pitt will be taking Damon’s place. Paramount wanted to fast track this project before the infamous strikes early next year, and Damon was not prepared to fit into that time schedule.
The film will follow boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s (Wahlberg) unlikely road to the world lightweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky (Pitt), a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KO’d by drugs and crime.
Scott Silver (8 Mile) is working on the latest draft of the script, which has also been worked over by Oscar nominated screenwriter Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco, Quiz Show) and October Sky scribe Lewis Colick. Silver was also mentioned in the “Special Thanks” credits for Requiem for a Dream, which insinuates a relationship with the director. So Aronofsky probably brought Silver in to carve out a final draft before production begins (of course, all speculation).