While The Fighter might sound like it could have a fighting chance, bad luck has plagued the project for a while. Back in 2007, Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon were attached, and Darren Aronofsky had signed on to direct. Then Damon dropped out, and Brad Pitt signed on. Then Pitt dropped out. Then Aronofsky.

When a light-haired beau and funky director leave, the studio must find replacements! Variety reports that Christian Bale and David O. Russell are in negotiations to join The Fighter, and offer another manly trio for Mark Wahlberg, who is still pumped and ready to fight. This will, of course, be the third feature for the manic director and Wahlberg, who previously worked on Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees, and O. Russell's second mainstream grab in a row (there's also that romantic comedy).

Should things go well from here, production will begin in July on the Rocky-esque story of Boston fighter "Irish" Mickey Ward. Wahlberg will play Ward, while Bale will take Dicky Ecklund -- the brother who once decked Sugar Ray, got involved with drugs and crime, cleaned up in jail, and then helped his brother do what he couldn't.

Yes, it sounds like the typical sports drama, but I can't help but have high hopes for anything that reunites Mark and David, and mixes Bale into the O. Russell world. Now if only we could get Bale into something strange and darkly comic again...