Paramount Pictures has beaten four rival studios to the punch, landing a seven-figure rights and screenwriting deal for boxing biopic “The Fighter.” Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce.
True story concerns two half-brother boxers from south Boston who experienced the best and worst professional the sport has to offer. One, Dicky Eklund, lost a tough bout with Sugar Ray Leonard by decision and quickly unraveled. He became addicted to crack and ultimately went to prison for armed robbery.
Eklund’s younger brother, “Irish” Mickey Ward was a cult favorite on ESPN boxing coverage but never truly made it big. Ward quit boxing for nearly three years, ironically finding work as a prison guard.
After getting out of prison, Eklund resumed training his younger half-brother — now in his 30s — ultimately coaching him all the way to win the IBO junior welterweight championship of the world.
Screenwriter-producer Paul Tamasy (“Air Bud”) and Eric Johnson will script “Fighter.” Tamasy also will produce with Dorothy Aufeiro. Johnson will handle exec producer chores with Keith Dorrington and Leslie Varrelman.
Par VP of production Andrew Haas is overseeing the project.