What’s the Status of THE FIGHTER Sequel?

     March 15, 2011

The Ward/Gatti trilogy of fights were the defining moments of boxer Micky Ward’s career.  So it is often questioned why the fights were left out of The Fighter, the movie based on Ward’s life.  To hear Mark Wahlberg tell it, they needed to save something for the sequel:

Now I’m trying to plant the idea in everyone’s head that we should do — not five or six Fighters like Rocky — but one more because the big thing that Micky Ward was famous for was his three epic battles with Arturo Gatti. So we’re talking about possibly taking one more run at it.

This is not the first time Wahlberg has expressed his desire for another Fighter, and he is hovering around his fighting weight in case the opportunity arises.  But we’ve been told that the studio has not yet commissioned a script, and any development talk is still in the very early stages.  Wahlberg admitted as much — read what he had to say after the jump.

EW asked if the principal cast would return for the hypothetical sequel.  Wahlberg assumes so, though nothing’s on paper:

“Everybody had such an amazing experience making the movie that I can’t imagine they wouldn’t want to go back. But it’s still kind in the early stages.”

The Fighter gifted Oscar wins to Melissa Leo and Christian Bale and a nomination to Amy Adams, so they’d obviously be open to a sequel.  It seems less likely that a sequel could lure David O. Russell back to the director’s chair.  Russell’s attached to a slew of projects, two of which star Wahlberg: Uncharted and Cocaine Cowboys.

Still, Wahlberg continues to train so he’s ready for that call if it ever comes:

“Well, I’ve got my sparring partner sitting right in front of me. We did about ten rounds yesterday. And in between shooting this movie that I’m doing, we had a couple of hours off while they shot another couple of scenes, so we flew back to the hotel, got in our boxing gear, boxed, took a shower, and went back to the set.”

Wahlberg is currently shooting the action thriller Contraband in New Orleans with Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Diego Luna, Lukas Hass, and Giovanni Ribisi.  In the interview, he described his character and related the experience to production The Fighter:

“It’s a remake of an Icelandic film, and I play a guy who was a world-class smuggler and who’s left that world behind for his wife and children. My younger brother-in-law gets in trouble in the merchant marine world and has some very shady people after him, so I go back for one last run to fix this problem for him. We’ve been having a lot of fun, shooting it down-and-dirty very much like The Fighter. But it’s very different from my performance in The Fighter. There’s a lot of energy, excitement, and humor.”

Contraband is scheduled for release on March 16, 2012.

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