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Producer Todd Lieberman Reveals Eminem was the First Choice for Mark Wahlberg’s Role in the Oscar Winning Film: ‘The Fighter’

Producer Todd Lieberman Reveals Eminem was the First Choice for Mark Wahlberg’s Role in the Oscar Winning Film: ‘The Fighter’

Film producer Todd Lieberman spoke on the Hollywood Gold podcast and revealed that rapper Eminem was his top choice to star as Micky Ward in the film The Fighter. The role was eventually given to Mark Wahlberg, with director David O. Russell at the helm.

Todd Lieberman
Todd Lieberman

Eminem was not much of an actor and this opportunity could have changed his career in 2010. There was something in the musical superstar that attracted Lieberman’s attention and thus had Eminem on his top list of celebrities to star in the Oscar-winning movie.

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Eminem Was Todd Lieberman’s Top Prospect To Lead The Fighter Movie

During his interview on Hollywood Gold podcast via THR, Todd Lieberman said:

The first person that we thought would star in this film was Eminem. Eminem was going to be Micky Ward.”


He proceeded to explain why he wanted the rapper to lead the film. In Curtis Hanson’s 2002 film 8 Mile, Eminem portrayed an aspiring rapper B-Rabbit who showcased real-life elements from the musician’s past. Lieberman did not reveal, however, why the plan did not push through.

That was a moment in time where he had come off of 8 Mile, and he was interested in making movies, and he wanted to do a boxing movie. So that was something we pursued for a minute. And there was real life in that for a minute.”

The project went under several changes in the potential cast. Lieberman also shared that Matt Damon and Brad Pitt almost starred as Micky and Dicky, respectively. The role of Dicky Eklund eventually went to Christian Bale. The director’s seat also saw changes, with Darren Aronofsky initially spearheading the project before Russell.

The Fighter grossed $129 million worldwide, with a total of $177 million, as of today. Impressively, the film garnered seven Oscar nominations, with Bale taking home the Best Supporting Actor award and Melissa Leo for the Best Actress accolade.

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Lieberman And Wahlberg Express Interest On The Fighter Sequel

In his interview with Collider in 2015, Todd Lieberman said that The Fighter sequel was a possibility, although nothing is confirmed.

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.”

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in The Fighter Todd Lieberman
Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in ‘The Fighter’

Lead star Mark Wahlberg also expressed interest in reprising the role. In his interview with Screen Rant, the actor revealed his intention to return to the ring.

I’m always kind of looking for the next thing. But if the audience really wants it, and they really love it, and we can make one better than the first then I’d be willing to do it again, for sure.”

The idea of a sequel to The Fighter is, indeed, a challenge to the team. It was the authenticity and emotional influence that gained people’s interest, and the film needs to level up the game to make a successful repeat performance.

With the news of Eminem almost starring in a boxing film, and Wahlberg hoping for a comeback, the possibility of a second installment is always endless.

The Fighter (2010) is available to stream via Paramount Plus, Prime Video, and Netflix.

Source: THR, Collider, Screen Rant

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Written by Ariane Cruz

Content writer at FandomWire.