“The Fighter” is the true life tale of Boston fighter “Irish” Mickey Ward (played by Wahlberg), who was coached to the world lightweight championship by his half-brother, Dicky Eklund (played by Bale). After suffering a number of defeats, Ward was ready to retire until pushed back into the ring by his brother.
Eklund had once racked up a number of welterweight boxing wins, and fought Sugar Ray Leonard before succumbing to a life of drugs and violence. After serving over 10 years in prison, he returned to the ring as Ward’s coach, and pushed him to victory. Sadly, it was a victory that was short-lived as Eklund remains troubled by drugs and violence to this day.
“The Fighter” has been around Hollywood’s boxing ring for a few years, attracting a lot of big names along the way. It was once set to be helmed by Darren Aronofsky, and was originally to star Matt Damon and Wahlberg. Damon left and was replaced by Brad Pitt, but the project stalled and Aronofsky moved on. Wahlberg has remained attached to the film, and kept up the punishing training required to play Ward.
I was disappointed to discover that Aranofsky was no longer attached to this project; I think he has proven with 'The Wrestler' that he can tell this kind of story very well. Whether this project will ever go into production is still very much uncertain but the newly acquired interest of Bale will surely increase its chances. I think that the story of Ward and Eklund is definitely one worth seeing and I hope it makes its way to the big screen somehow.