April 21, 2009

Bale, Wahlberg up for ‘Fighter’ roles

Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg are in talks for the lead roles in director David O. Russell's Boston-set flick The Fighter.

Variety.com said the story about boxer Irish Mickey Ward and Dicky Eklund, the ex-convict half-brother who trains him, is to begin shooting in July.

Wahlberg is in negotiations to play the character of Ward and Bale the part of Eklund, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

Wahlberg and Matt Damon were initially set to star in the movie with Darren Aronofsky on board to direct, but Damon dropped out. Brad Pitt was briefly attached to replace him, but the movie stalled and Aronofsky moved on to other projects, Variety.com noted.

Russell previously directed Wahlberg in Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.