Frosty at Collider had a chance to chat to Christian Bale and got an interesting update on The Fighter, David O. Russell’s take on the life and times of Micky Ward. Ward was a boxer of some note winning the prestigious ‘fight of the year award’ three times in a row and was seen very much as a working class hero. Ward will be played by Mark Wahlberg with Bale playing the older brother of Ward, Dickie Ecklund who was also a notable fighter having faced Sugar Ray Leonard losing on points. HBO fans may recognize him from the 1995 documentary High on Crack Street which depicted his sad descent from the highs of boxing to the lows on drugs.
Bale stated that they may start shooting within two weeks. Surely if a film is that close to shooting a timetable would be in place though. We all know of the problems Nailed has had in getting to the screen and I sincerely hope that this is a relatively trouble free production. It’s already had to deal with a director change and it seems somewhat up in the air.
Bale described the movie as such:
“A true story of two incredibly gifted boxers who were half-brothers. The one, Dicky Eklund, who fought Sugar Ray Leonard at a very young age, when he was twenty one, was an incredible natural talent. He lived a very hard life. Then he came to train his brother, Irish Mickey Ward, to the world title.”
A simplistic answer sure and one that doesn’t really shed new light on the story but the question it raises for me is who is the star? Everything I’d seen up until this point made me believe that Ward was the main character but much like John Connor before possibly the star power of Bale has led to a beefed up part for Ecklund.
This would not be a bad thing in my opinion because having watched the documentary on Ecklund he is clearly a troubled man and one that Bale will no doubt enjoy inhabiting as he skirts the line between success and self destruction. This could actually prove to be the real point of intrigue dependent on what kind of time scale the film covers.
So what’s the interest level for The Fighter?