Mark Wahlberg Updates The Fighter Sequel and Michael Bay's Pain and Gain
01.08.12 by Ryan
Next week's Contraband will end a mini-drought for Mark Wahlberg, who hasn't appeared in a movie since 2010's The Fighter. Even before the boxing biopic earned Wahlberg's co-stars Christian Bale and Melissa Leo Oscars for their performances, Wahlberg was talking about a Fighter sequel, revealing that a second installment would follow "Irish" Micky Ward's trilogy of fights with the late Arturo Gatti.
As late as last June, Wahlberg was still confident about a Fighter sequel, saying "We're not going to do Fighter 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, but we're gonna do 2." In an interview with Collider, Wahlberg offered the latest update, claiming that a script is in the works.
It’s definitely a priority but I don’t think it’s necessarily gonna be a sequel, it’s really kind of it’s own thing about the Ward/Gatti wars and this crazy relationship that came out of these fights. After the first fight they became very close friends, yet two more times they went in there and tried to kill each other and caused a lot of physical and mental damage that really took a toll on them, and certainly still takes a toll on Micky to this day. [Fighter co-screenwriter] Scott Silver is gonna be writing it and hopefully he’s writing as we speak.
As for when a Fighter sequel would start shooting, Wahlberg said it won't be long before cameras start rolling.
Well [I’d like to start shooting] sooner rather than later, I mean I’m not getting any younger although [Sylvester] Stallone did film Rocky 6 when he was 60, and he filmed the first one when he was 29. But I would like to do it within the next year, year and a half.
Wahlberg has previously said that he couldn't "imagine [that everybody from The Fighter cast] wouldn’t want to go back" for a sequel and director David O. Russell has admitted that he would "definitely want to be involved" in writing the screenplay for the sequel and possibly direct.
Once Silver finishes the screenplay, expect another update on Fighter 2, but until then Wahlberg has plenty of other projects at work, including a reunion with his Contraband director Baltasar Kormákur for a comic book adaptation of 2 Guns and possibly, pairing with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for director Michael Bay's body-building comedy Pain and Gain. Last month, Wahlberg reportedly passed on the project, but Wahlberg revealed that he is still considering the movie, based on an article from the Miami New Times about a group of body builders caught in an extortion and kidnapping scheme.
No, I didn’t drop out of it either, they’re waiting on a rewrite for the script... I just spoke to Ari [Emanuel] who represents me as well as Michael and we’re waiting on a script.
We talked about Dwayne and he’s got some great ideas for the cast. I think it’s gonna be something that people are gonna be very surprised that Michael’s gonna do, but I think he’s gonna do a great job with it.
Captain America: The First Avenger screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus are reportedly wrote the initial Pain and Gain script and if they are still working on the draft Wahlberg referenced, the actor says he is "ready to go" if the project moves forward, adding "They better tell me quick so I can get out there and start bulking up."
That leaves Entourage, the movie based on the HBO series that Wahlberg executive produced and was loosely based on the early days of his career. Wahlberg has been talking about a big screen version of the show as early as 2009. "[Series creator] Doug Ellin is hopefully writing that right now," said Wahlberg.
Wahlberg is currently working on the noir drama Broken City, co-starring Russell Crowe.