Weinsteins Jump Into The Ring With Relativity And "The Fighter"
The Weinstein Company (TWC) has acquired from Relativity Media all international rights to The Fighter. TWC began selling the film at the Cannes Film Festival this week. The announcement was made today by David Glasser, president of international for TWC and Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media.
The film, which is currently in pre-production, was written by Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, with most recent script drafts by Scott Silver and Lewis Colick. David O. Russell will direct, and Academy Award® nominee Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale will star.
As a welterweight from the wrong side of the tracks, The Fighter tells the story of Dickie Eklund (Bale), the pride of working class Lowell, Massachusetts. Living in his shadow is his half-brother and sparring partner Micky Ward (Wahlberg). It’s part of the Irish pride to let Dickie lead the way and win a championship belt first. However, after suffering a humiliating defeat to Sugar Ray Leonard, Dickie plunges into a nightmare of crack addiction, violence and prison. His family’s hopes are crushed in the wake of Dickie’s demise. Like a real life Rocky, Micky fights on his own terms and pulls his family out of despair with his meteoric rise in the ring. Freshly paroled, Dickie finds redemption training his little brother, now known as “Irish” Micky Ward, for his Welterweight Championship bout with Shea Neary.
“The Fighter is a great story, being portrayed by a phenomenal cast, that we know will be popular worldwide,” said Glasser. “It’s great to be working Relativity again, and we’re looking forward to sharing this film with an international audience.”
“It is a privilege to be working with The Weinstein Company,” said Kavanaugh. “Their amazing body of work shows an incredible commitment to quality cinema, both domestically and internationally. This is such an emotionally charged film, with a universal story. We can’t wait to begin filming with Christian, Mark, and David.”
Lee Solomon, COO, Laine Kline, evp of business and legal affairs, and Michal Steinberg, SVP of Business and Legal Affairs and Acquisitions negotiated on behalf of TWC. Andrew Marcus, COO, Linda Benjamin, Executive Vice President Business & Legal Affairs and Philip Elway, Executive Vice President of Business Affairs negotiated on behalf of Relativity Media.
Paramount Pictures will be distributing domestically.