Brad Pitt is taking his fight out of the club and into the arena, by way of the jail cell.
Paramount Pictures confirmed to E! News Thursday that the 43-year-old Hollywood heavyweight is in talks to play a disgraced boxer who turns his life around in time to mentor his half-brother in his quest for a light welterweight world title in the true-life drama The Fighter.
Mark Wahlberg is set to play hometown hero "Irish" Micky Ward, while Pitt would play Dickie Ecklund, Ward's older sibling and a promising fighter who once gave Sugar Ray Leonard a run for his title money but instead ended up in prison.
Ecklund's story was also featured in the 1995 HBO documentary High on Crack Street, and the Dropkick Murphys tune "The Warrior's Code" is dedicated to Ward, whose picture appears on the cover of the Boston-bred Celtic punk band's self-titled album.
Although Ward, who hails from Lowell, Massachusetts, never won a world title from his sport's top four organizations, he was a scrappy fan favorite who earned both a World Boxing Union Intercontinental Light Welterweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title on his way to a 38-13 lifetime win-loss record. Three of his fights were dubbed Fight of the Year by Ring magazine.
Darren Aronofsky, of the twisted visions in Pi, Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain, will direct the biopic, while 8 Mile scribe Scott Silver is working on the latest draft of the screenplay.
Before buffing up for his turn in The Fighter, Wahlberg stars in M. Night Shyamalan's next chiller The Happening, which is slated for a June release. The actor's latest film, We Own the Night, opens Oct. 12.
Pitt, who recently signed on to reteam with Fight Club doppelgänger Edward Norton in the political thriller State of Play, is headed for wide release on Friday in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Pitt plays the infamous outlaw, and Casey Affleck is the resentful follower who shoots him in the back.
The role won Pitt the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month.