Aronofsky in 'Fighter' shape for Paramount


Darren Aronofsky is in final talks to helm Paramount Pictures' drama "The Fighter," which reteams "The Departed" stars Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon.

Based on the life of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and his trainer brother Dick Eklund (Damon), the story chronicles their 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, and Aronofsky and Damon attended nearby Harvard University.

The film, with its conventional narrative, would mark a departure for Aronofsky, whose "Pi," "Requiem for a Dream" and "The Fountain" offered hallucinatory explorations of existential issues.

Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson penned the screenplay. Sources said Aronofsky is awaiting a Paul Attanasio rewrite before signing on.

David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing through their Mandeville Films shingle.

Paramount's Brad Weston is shepherding the project for the studio.

Aronofsky is repped by CAA and attorney Carlos Goodman.