Wahlberg and Damon clinch 'Fighter' roles


Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon, who teamed 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."

Paramount's Brad Weston is overseeing for the studio.

Wahlberg next stars in the Paramount thriller "Shooter." He is repped by Endeavor, Leverage Management and attorney Jason Sloane.

Damon, who won a screenplay Oscar for "Good Will Hunting," recently wrapped Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" and the casino caper "Ocean's Thirteen." He is repped by Endeavor and attorneys Steve Burkow and Sam Fischer.