...And we do mean Micky Ward and Dickie Eklund. As an avid sports fan, you undoubtedly know that hard-punching “Irish” Micky Ward from Lowell, Massachusetts, played here by Mark Wahlberg, was a true contender in the ring during the 1990s, thanks largely to the savvy coaching of his half-brother Dickie, a former boxer, part-time robber and full-time drug addict who did time in the pen and became a clean and sober inmate by the time of his release.

The journey of “The Fighter” to the ring has been long and rocky. A couple of years ago, Darren Aronofsky was the designated director on  the project, but after numerous delays, he bowed out and opted to bow in to Mickey Rourke’s comeback sensation, “The Wrestler.” At one point, Brad Pitt had signed up for the role of Dickie in “The Fighter” after it became clear to Matt Damon that he himself had signed up for so many flicks that he had to drop out of this one. And then,  when Leo became otherwise employed, Christian Bale agreed to shed his Batman cape and squeeze into gloves and trunks (not to mention prison stripes) as Micky’s brotherly coach. Presumably, Mark and Christian are now prepared to go the full 10 rounds.

THE FIGHTER Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale (Directed by David O. Russell; Written by Scott Silver and Lewis Colick; Paramount) Opening date to be announced