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Matt Damon News Column
Boxing project announced
  • Details of the boxing project previously mentioned by Matt in the Telegraph interview are at the Hollywood Reporter. The official website for Micky Ward is here.

    Wahlberg, Damon clinch 'Fighter' roles

    Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon, who teamed up in the Boston police saga "The Departed," are set to reunite in Paramount Pictures' "The Fighter." David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing through their Mandeville Films shingle.

    Based on the life of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and his trainer brother Dick Eklund (Damon), the story chronicles the brothers' early days on the rough streets of Lowell, Mass., through Eklund's battle with drugs and Ward's eventual world championship in London. Wahlberg and Damon both hail from Boston.

    Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson penned the screenplay. However, sources said Wahlberg and Damon's involvement is contingent on a Paul Attanasio rewrite, which is due in a few weeks.

    "I've been dying to do a boxing movie my whole career," Wahlberg said in a recent interview. "I've been close to doing two, and they kinda fell apart, but it's something I'm very excited about."

  • More details from the Variety report:

    "House" exec producer Paul Attanasio is working on a rewrite that will be completed within two weeks. If they like the script, Wahlberg and Damon will commit, and each will make "The Fighter" his next film. Shooting will begin in early summer in Massachusetts.

    Emphasis in the rewrite is on the themes of brotherhood and redemption.

  • More photos of Matt and De Niro in Berlin are at here and Popsugar, including:

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
  • 11 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
    What is it about men and boxing movies?! I am kind of glad that Wahlberg will take the role of the boxer. Very interesting that the two will work together again. The BBC are also reporting this today. Whalberg was on Jay Leno last night (UK) and he didn't mention it, though the scene from The Departed they featured was one with Matt. Jan
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 14th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
    The project holds no interest for me at all. Who really needs another boxing movie (after Rocky and myriad variations, aren't they all redundant?) And another film about brotherhood, redemption, triumph over drugs and a win we already know about?

    It's a true festival of cliches - sports flick of the underdog made good, tough love between brothers, obscurity to triumph; and all to end on a final scene of the brothers doing a tough guy clench in the boxing ring.

    I like that it will be set in the Boston area, but that's about it. It may not come off, and doesn't have a director attached at this stage.

    So much for the summer off to write a project - and this would also mean less promotion time for O13 and Bourne.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

    I hope you don't mind me saying this, but you sound really down and disgusted. Are you disappointed in Matt's recent choices of films? Do you not like Mark Wahlberg? I'm not surprised that he is not writing this summer. He has been talking about writing for a really long time now and it never really happens. I've given up on that even when I hear him talking about it. I'm sure he'll fit in time to promote O13 and Bourne. He always does. It sounds like he has a very, very busy 2007 planned. I hope Lucy and Isabella and Alexia can keep up.

    I hope you feel more positive after seeing The Good Shepherd tomorrow night.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I don't care for movies about boxing either, though I did enjoy the first two Rocky movies and also loved the Clint Eastwood boxing film that got Hilary Swank her second Oscar (can't remember what it was called, boy am I getting old!), I thought it was fabulous and cried at the end,I haven't seen the Cinderella Man because I can't stand Russell Crowe.

    Having said that I think this project could work, with the right script and a good director it could be great. Most movies when you analyse them are about some kind of redemption, and the Bourne series breathed new life into a genre that had grown very tired. Looked at rationally they're made up of cliches but due to the quality of the production, directing, writing and acting in all the roles even the smallest they rise above the basic material. Anyway thats just my take on it. I'm sure many will disagree with me. MP
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I never cared for the Rocky movies. I only saw the first one many years ago. I did not particularly like Million Dollar Baby. I didn't think it deserved Best Picture that year. I really didn't cry.

    I agree with everything you said about this project. I think it could work also. Like you say, there are many movies with the same themes. What makes the difference is the execution: the acting, directing, screenwriting, etc.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I agree with you, MP, but I don't care for Mark Wahlberg. But I'll watch just about any movie with Matt in it including this one if it gets made.
    From: sunnysanstar Date: February 15th, 2007 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
    Ditto all the way, hon.

    >So much for the summer off to write a project

    That's the sad truth, isn't it. Everytime our boy wants to write, or direct, or do anything that holds a new interest for him, it always seems to get pushed aside for something else. *sigh*
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I hope Matt doesn't do the boxing movie either. I can't say I have liked too many and I am a huge movie buff, the only two boxing movies I have really liked containing boxing are "Raging Bull" and "Cinderella Man" and the later didn't do very well at the box office. I thought Matt would be scared to do a movie with him playing the part of a character with a drug problem like his character in "Courage Under Fire", which was amazing, but he lost so much weight which put his health at risk, at least he can afford dietitians etc. now I guess, but it would scare me too go down that road again. Mind you Matt usually picks his roles well, I remember when he took the first Jason Bourne film, and I thought what is he doing but both films have been received very well,and he made that character his own, so it will be interesting to see if it pans out.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

    I agree with you that the only two boxing movies that I have seen that I liked were Raging Bull and Cinderella Man. I do think that there are some others out there that are supposed to be good. I can't imagine Matt agreeing to do this movie unless he thinks it has something to say and is not formulaic. It must be pretty close to an acceptable script if it's supposed to be ready in 2 weeks. I think it is very possible that this could be an interesting story with something new to say especially with great acting. And Matt wouldn't do it without a good director in mind. I'm glad that his "problems" with Mark Wahlberg are in the past.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
    i guess i am one of the only ones excited about this movie, i am interested to see how it turns out.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
    No, I'm excited about it, too. If Matt Damon is doing it, it will probably be good.
    11 comments or Leave a comment