Christian Bale Suits Up for The Fighter

Dark Knight star teams up with Mark Wahlberg for boxer biopic from David O. Russell

By Gina Serpe Apr 21, 2009 2:00 PMTags
Mark Wahlberg, Christian BaleTony Barson/Getty Images, Mike Marsland/Getty Images

Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg are not done professionally.

The Dark Knight has signed on to join Wahlberg in The Fighter, a years-in-development biopic following Boston's world lightweight champ "Irish" Mickey Ward.

Per Variety, Bale will step into the ring as Ward's trainer/half-brother Dicky Eklund, who was sentenced to serve a decade in state prison after a crime spree but who redeems his drug-addled life by helping his bro's career undergo a Rocky-like transformation.

Over the years, both Matt Damon and Brad Pitt had been attached to the role, but it's the Caped—and soon, Gloved—Crusader who will own the part when the film goes into production in July.

But Bale will also have an uphill battle if he's looking to hold on to his crown as most tempestuous crew member: David O. Russell directs the flick.

In other notable casting news:

• Demetri Martin is on to a very important thing—namely, a role in a Brad Pitt vehicle. According to Variety, the Comedy Central funnyman will star opposite Pitt in Moneyball, the adaptation of the same-named tome chronicling Oakland Athletics manager Billy Beane as he creatively crafts a championship team on a nearly nonexistent payroll. Steven Soderbergh directs the pic.

• It's party time in Wayans' world. Marlon Wayans is set to star in and produce The Year of Living Biblically, per the Hollywood Reporter, an adaptation of the 2005 nonfiction book following a man's quest to spend 365 days living by the rules set out in the Old and New Testaments. Hilarity, theoretically, ensues.

Jena Malone and Jamie Chung are harnessing their girl power, joining the enthusiastically named Sucker Punch!, Zack Snyder's all-femme action fantasy flick, per the Hollywood Reporter. The movie is set in the 1950s and follows an institutionalized girl who faces a lobotomy at the hands of her evil stepdad unless she hatches a plan, in five days, to escape. Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish and Emily Browning also star.

• Despite the loss of Project Runway, Bravo is continuing to think fashionably, greenlighting a new reality series set within the confines of Fred Segal's Santa Monica location. The series will follow the catty and competitive world of the retail sales teams who are forced to oblige the whims of their high-end customers.

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