Christian Bale has confirmed that shooting on The Fighter, David O’Russel’s biopic of boxers Dickie Eklund and ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward, is about to get underway. Bale is Eklund, with Mark Wahlberg co-starring as Ward.
The beleaguered project began with Darren Aronofsky at the helm, and was originally to star Matt Damon in the Eklund role. Damon was reportedly then replaced by Brad Pitt, until Aronofsky dropped out, leaving the movie in limbo. Marky Mark however, has always been aboard, and has been gaining his boxing chops for two years.
The Fighter certainly has plenty of real-life drama to work with. Eklund’s professional career lasted a decade between the 70s and 80s, and he went the distance with Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978. He went on to become his half brother Ward’s personal trainer, persuading him back into a successful career in the ring after his early retirement.
But Eklund was also hopelessly addicted to crack, and was jailed for kidnapping and armed robbery in 1995. He was arrested for crack posession again in 2006, and yet again earlier this year for domestic assault and attempted murder. So we’re apparently looking at Rocky crossed with Chopper and Requiem For a Dream. Can’t wait!
“He lived a very hard life,” said Bale, in perhaps the understatement of the week.
At the same press conference for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, Bale professed ignorance about the future of his two major franchises: Batman and Terminator.
“I’m none the wiser about whether we’ll ever be revisiting Gotham or not,” he told the assembled hacks. “I really cannot tell you if there will be another Batman movie.” This chimes with recent reports that Christopher Nolan is reluctant to continue with the caped crusader’s exploits, although the series is such a cash cow for Warners it would be incredible if there weren’t further instalments in some form.
And as for Terminator: “Really, no. No conversation has been had about that at all…”