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David O. Russell No Longer on ‘The Fighter’ Sequel

Written by on January 9, 2012 

Hey, at least there have been worse headlines to feature David O. Russell‘s name in the past week.

All the same, it’s unfortunate to read ThePlaylist‘s news wherein Mark Wahlberg announced that Russell won’t helm his comeback vehicle’s follow-up, despite a glut of updates pouring in from the director around a year ago. No concrete reason was given for the departure, though some silly, tabloid-like rift between the two is being cited as the main cause. You can find that news elsewhere.

With Russell (literally and figuratively) out of the picture, the star and producer will begin “shopping for someone new” when the first film’s co-writer, Scott Silver, submits his latest draft. And the choice should come to pass soon; Wahlberg bluntly said that it needs to be made “before I get too old,” which translates to “maybe in the next year, year and a half.” (I’ll just assume that, with this timeframe, he’s referring to production.)

Director-wise — while it’s still too early — the actor has been waving a few flags for the man behind Contraband, Baltasar Kormákur — but who knows if that would actually lead to the Icelander getting the job. I wouldn’t sweat the possibility, though you never know when a lead can pick his own man.

Really, I’m just saddened that Russell — whose knack for family dynamics and interesting approach to fight scenes helped elevate The Fighter — won’t be back for another round (sorry). But it’s not just for those couple of reasons, either — it’s also because he and Wahlberg had a certain harmony going throughout the film, one which helped both gloss over some bigger flaws and deliver one of the better sports movies of the past ten years. Now I fear we’ll only get a cash-in sequel.

What do you make of Russell not coming back for The Fighter 2?

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