When a film gets nominated for and wins several Oscars, the next thought is usually not "let's make a sequel!" Such reactions tend to be reserved for action films and popcorn fare, but not so with last year's The Fighter. Mark Wahlberg, who starred as real-life boxer Micky Ward in last year's acclaimed hit, had been talking up a sequel for some time. In case you weren't listening earlier, he's now made it clear again, this time on cable television while accepting the "Guy Movie of the Year" Award during Spike TV's Guys' Choice Awards.
Boxing buffs might be well aware that something was missing from the original "Fighter" in terms of Micky Ward's legacy. Ward is more remembered for a series of fights with Arturo Gatti in 2002 and 2003. Wahlberg said they were left out on purpose as he teased the forthcoming sequel:
"We left out the Arturo Gatti fights for a reason, cause that’s for Fighter 2. We’re not gonna do Fighter 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, but we’re gonna do 2. We’re gonna do the Ward/Gatti trilogy."
Good to know we don't have another "Rocky" franchise on our hands, but the door seems open for a second and if interpreted one way, a third, though the "trilogy" refers to the three fights between Ward and Gatti. In those fights, Ward and Gatti split the first two in that order and Gatti won the third despite breaking his hand.
The news is probably good for boxing fans, but Oscar watchers should be wary. There's a reason the story used for The Fighter was used for The Fighter. A sequel would for all intents and purposes be about the boxing. However, if the "we" Walhberg refers to includes any of the original cast members in Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, the film will be nearly impossible to ignore regardless.
Considering Wahlberg produced the project, you can bet that he's not just trying to say things in hopes of the movie getting made. He plans to use his money to make this project work. The question still remains, however, as to who he's going to get to write and direct as well as return to the cast. Director David O. Russell has expressed interest in the project in a writing capacity and would almost certainly produce if that's the case.