While biopics have been a successful genre in the move industry, they are also the hardest subset to engage in strategically. After all, a standard film about someone's life will usually cover all of the interesting parts in one sitting. David O. Russell's The Fighter knew to leave some events out of the film's running time, in hopes of producing a sequel built on the continuing adventures of Micky Ward. It's been a couple of years since the first word of a possible sequel has broken out, but producer Todd Lieberman seems to walk the middle of the road when it comes to a possible sequel.
Collider caught up with Lieberman while he was doing the rounds on The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and the producer was asked about the potential sequel that's been in the works for around four years. The answer he gave, as seen in the quote shared below, is pretty even handed when it comes to the possibility of another Micky Ward biopic.
Boy, that thing! I’ll say never say die. There’s definitely interest in it. It’s another one I don’t know the answer to. I can tell you that there’s interest. If it will happen or not, I don’t know. If it does, I’m thrilled. It’s a world I love and characters I love, too. It was an amazingly fun time.
With an answer like that, Todd Lieberman isn't really giving a yes or a no to fans of the David O. Russell directed 2011 nominee for Best Picture. If anything, it seems like a stock answer to keep the fires barely stoked on The Fighter 2, in hopes of eventually making good. The last time the project was mentioned as a possibility, it was being set up as a film focusing solely on the trilogy of fights between Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti. The concept was mentioned as being specifically planned for during the making of The Fighter, as these fights are pivotal to Micky Ward's career history, but also rich enough in story for a separate movie.
The original film's performance suggests that audiences might be invested in another round with the Ward family. But there's reason to pause. Lieberman and Wahlberg aren't crazy to think that the story lends itself to another film, but the numbers behind The Fighter's 2010 release window don't exactly scream "instant hit." Factor in the expected absence of David O. Russell's steady eye behind the camera, and you've got an even shakier prospect for box office success than when you started.
Still, any possible sequel to The Fighter still stands a fighting chance when Mark Wahlberg is still interested in playing ball. If Todd Lieberman can keep interest alive in The Fighter 2 over in the Team Wahlberg camp, then there's a good chance that this project will never die. At least, until Wahlberg ages out of the role entirely. Looks like now's as good a time as any to get Christian Bale on the phone, in order to enlist his A-list muscle. We'll have to wait and see if The Fighter 2 ever happens, but we can always return back to The Fighter, which is available on Blu Ray and DVD.