Christian Bale Climbs Into The Ring With Mark Wahlberg For ‘The Fighter’

This may be the sternest film that goes into production this year — but given the names involved, it will probably be one of the best. Variety is reporting that Christian Bale has joined Mark Wahlberg for “The Fighter,” and that David O. Russell may be along to direct the grim, tense ride.

“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.

Despite the interest of Bale and Russell, the project is still uncertain and Relativity Media has stressed that negotiations are still in process. If everyone signs and gets in fighting shape, “The Fighter” will jump into the filming ring this July.

MTV readers, we know that Christian Bale can do no wrong, but is this the right part for the volatile actor? Will a film with Bale and Wahlberg be too much to take?