A few days ago I sat down with producers Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman to talk about director David O. Russell’s The Fighter. With the film being one of my favorite’s of 2010, I was curious how the project got put together. During the interview, Lieberman and Hoberman told me some great behind the scenes stories about who was originally going to star in the film and how Darren Aronofsky was at one point attached to direct. While I would have loved to have seen his version of the film, I think we can all agree O. Russell did a pretty amazing job and that’s probably why the film is nominated for seven Oscars.
In addition to the behind the scenes stories, we talked about why the Gatti-Ward trilogy of fights didn’t make it into the film, are they thinking about making a sequel to show those fights, how did Paramount get involved, why did they keep the film under wraps for so long, did they ever think the film would be nominated for Best Picture, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch the interview (it’s been time indexed so you can watch the part’s that interest you).
Producers Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman
- 0:34 – What it’s like doing press in their trailer; plus, what Jason Segel thinks of their trailer
- 1:15 – How they got involved with The Fighter
- 3:20 – When they got involved relative to Mark Wahlberg, for whom this was a passion project
- 5:00 – Talk about the long development process on the movie and how Wahlberg stayed in boxing shape for years; Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were pursued for the Christian Bale role when Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct
- 9:00 – Discuss Bale’s physical transformation to portray a crack addict
- 10:15 – Why the Gatti-Ward trilogy of fights didn’t make it into the film
- 11:40 – There is more to the story that’s worth exploring, but there hasn’t been much talk of a sequel
- 14:00 – Thought The Fighter had a good chance at a Best Picture nomination from their viewing of the first cut
- 15:30 – Paramount designed the marketing and distribution strategy to surprise people