Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg is set to reunite with The Departed co-star Matt Damon in a new film based on the story of boxer Micky Ward.

Hollywood bible Variety reports he will play the headline role in The Fighter, with Damon set to play his half-brother Dickie.

Nicknamed 'Irish', Ward rose to prominence towards the end of his career when he landed a fight with Canadian Arturo Gatti.

The 2002 fight has been described as among the best ever staged, with a brutal contest ending when Ward won on points.

Subsequent rematches entrenched the fight in folklore, with Ward's ability to pick himself up off the canvass making the boxer a candidate for the Hollywood treatment, although the film is also expected to include his early years.

Now Wahlberg is set to take on the mantle of the underdog champ, with Requiem for a Dream director Darren Aronofsky said to be in talks to direct.

Filming could begin as soon as this summer and will follow Ward's rise to fame from his early days in Lowell, Massachusetts to his eventual world title.

27/03/2007 10:25:59