The Dark Knight retires his cape to play an ex-boxer? According to Variety, Christian Bale has signed on to play coach and half-brother to Boston boxing Champ Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg). The Fighter is a true story about Ward being pushed to the world lightweight championship by his half-brother, Dicky Eklund, after he suffers losses and is ready to quit. The Fighter has been in talks for years, originally set to be directed by The Wrestler‘s Darren Aronofsky and to star Brad Pitt as Eklund. However, it was revealed yesterday that Bale would be involved instead, and the film would be directed by David O. Russell, who worked with Wahlberg on Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees. Fighter producer Dorothy Aufiero is thrilled with the changes. “Love it, love it,” she said. “I’m ecstatic over Christian Bale. I think it’s going to be a great film.” Entertainment Weekly writer Chris Nashawaty says he suspects “Bale will bring out the best in Wahlberg, an actor who can be great when he’s surrounded by actors better than himself and not so great when he’s not. That is, if the toxic combination of Bale and director Russell (two legendarily intense tantrum throwers) can be tamed.” ~Meryl H.