Posts Tagged ‘the fighter’

The Fighter Shaping Up

June 22, 2009

It’s been a long road for the Mickey Ward biopic – The Fighter. Matt Damon was initially attached and then pulled out. Brad Pitt was then attached and also pulled out. The Wrestler Director Aronofsky was replaced, the story got a re-write…for a long time there it seemed like this one wouldn’t be made.

Mickey Ward

But it now looks like things are starting to fall into place. When Christian Bale signed up alongside long time attached Mark Wahlberg last month to star in the film, the movie took a giant leap toward getting made. Since then it has been announced that David O. Russell is taking on the Directing role, and recently Oscar nominated Actress Melissa Leo began negotiations to play the role of Mother to Wahlberg and Bale’s characters. All in all, it looks like The Fighter is finally shaping up, with filming set to begin in July.

As a fan of both boxing and the movies, I say let’s get it on.

For those not familiar with Mickey Ward’s work, he is a recently retired (2003) blue collar boxer from Massachusetts who was known for his enormous heart and refusal to quit. His hard nosed determination and deference towards defence made for thrilling fights, and amongst the boxing fraternity he became something of a cult figure.

Even so, Ward toiled in relative obscurity for much of his career, and did not achieve mainstream success until his three fight series with Arturo Gatti. (For those who have never seen this guy fight, it doesn’t get any better than Round 9 of his first fight with Gatti – a staggeringly good round in one of the greatest fights in boxing history).

The movie will focus on the relationship between Ward (played by Wahlberg) and his half brother Dicky Eklund (Bale), a mid-level professional fighter (who once went the distance against Sugar Ray Leonard) who had to overcome his own battles with drugs and alcohol to help train Mickey to in-ring success.

The questions I really want answered though – how well will Wahlberg be able to handle the fight scenes? And who is going to play the part of Ward’s arch-nemesis, Arturo Gatti?