Paramount Pictures is apparently interested in grabbing some of that Departed magic. This morning's Variety reports that the studio has fast-tracked The Fighter, a biopic of contemporary boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, to star Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg. The story will center on Ward and his half-brother Dicky, a boxer and trainer who delved into a life of drugs and criminality. A number of writers are involved in the project: Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy wrote the original script and Paul Attansio is currently rewriting a draft that was penned by Lewis Collick. The piece notes that Wahlberg just finished shooting The Shooter and Damon just finished The Bourne Ultimatum, so both will be available to begin shooting in early summer.
The story also says that the rewrite underway will highlight the "themes of brotherhood and redemption," which sounds a little sappy. How about a boxing film that's about lots of blood and teeth on the canvas, for once? Ward is a 41-year old fighter who recently retired after a long career in the ring. He has never won any of the major three world titles, although he is known to have earned the respect of boxing afficionados and fans for capturing a light welterweight title late in his career.