The Fighter‘s been in development for ages, first with Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon and Darren Aronofsky directing, then with Brad Pitt replacing Damon, then Aronofsky dropped out and the picture stalled. But now it’s back back back, with David O. Russell set to direct and Christian Bale set to step into the second male lead role.

The film is based on the true story of Irish-American boxer Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and the role that his half-brother, Dick Eklund (Bale), himself a former boxer who lost his career to crime, played in Ward’s success. Wahlberg’s been in training for the role for years now, so is ready to go in the part of Ward, a boxer known not just for his ability but for the incredible toughness that saw him take any amount of punishment and stay standing.

But we know what you’re thinking about today’s news. David O. Russell and Christian Bale had two of the most public on-set meltdowns in recent Hollywood history, both immortalised online, and can these two work together without The Fighter becoming an all-too-apt description of star and director? In fact, we suspect they’ll get on like a house on fire. Not in the people running & screaming & massive property damage sense though; in the sense that they’ve got so much in common they’ll be best buds by the end of day one. And since Mark Wahlberg’s been training as a boxer for two years, he shouldn’t have to worry too much even if sparks do fly, because ain’t nobody going to mess.

The details of the new deals are currently in negotiation, but production is expected to begin in July if there are no more delays, so fingers crossed we actually see what sounds like an interesting biopic.

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