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Casting Friday: Brad Pitt in Aronofsky's Fighter; Giovanni Ribisi in Cameron's Avatar

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September 21, 2007
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Two big casting announcements this Friday, along with some earlier ones related to Adventureland. Brad Pitt has been cast in place of Matt Damon in Darren Aronofsky's (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) next film The Fighter. And Giovanni Ribisi has been cast alongside of an eclectic lineup in James Cameron's sci-fi epic Avatar. More info on each can be found below.

Brad PittInitial news on The Fighter stated that Matt Damon would be starring alongside of Mark Wahlberg. This official casting news today states that Brad Pitt (instead of Damon) is in discussions to play Dicky Eklund. The film is a drama about the Irish boxer Mickey Ward (played by Wahlberg) and his unlikely path to become world lightweight champion. Dicky (played by Pitt), Mickey's half-brother, was a talented fighter who once went the distance with Sugar Ray Leonard in a title fight but then turned to crime and landed in prison. Then he turned his life around and helped his underperforming brother find the spark for a remarkable run that led to the world title.

Giovanni RibisiJames Cameron's Avatar has already built an impressive cast featuring Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, and Peter Mensah. The latest to join that list is Giovanni Ribisi who will play a passive-aggressive character named Selfridge. The film has a $190 million dollar budget and is about a band of humans pitted against a distant planet's indigenous inhabitants - six computer-generated actors known as "synthespians." Given it's James Cameron he's working on developing a world-changing film based upon new virtual photorealistic production techniques invented by Cameron's team.

Both of these casting announcements are fairly impressive and fairly exciting. I'm excited to see Pitt working with Aronofsky again and Ribisi, who I consider very talented, working with the legendary James Cameron. I've been waiting for Avatar to finally get an actor who I knew would bring a lot to the film's dynamic, and here he is.

Pitt had a fall out with Aronofsky as filming was about to begin on The Fountain many years back. He forced the film to stop its production, cut its budget drastically, and film again years later with Hugh Jackman instead. Yet despite all of this he's apparently back with Aronofsky ready to go again. I'm looking forward to The Fighter quite a bit and Pitt instead of Damon in a boxing movie only adds drastically more anticipation!

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  • In the last sentence, pretty sure you meant *Pitt instead of Damon*. Just sayin'.
  • You're right... I did - fixed! What do you think of the casting choices? Any of them look great to you?
  • TheGuyInThePj's
    Both of these casting announcements are great, but I'm kinda of disappointed that Aronofsky is choosing "The Fighter" as his next project. I would have loved for him to keep making films that he is very passionate about... such as "Aronofsky's 'Noah' project". Hopefully, Darren will not become just another run of the mill hollywood for hire director.
  • Zach
    Yeah, "The Fighter" sounds like it's too straight forward of a project for Aronofsky. And you make it sound like Pitt and Aronofsky had a fight, but from what I remember reading, it just didn't work out and they remained friends who still wanted to work together at some point.
  • juicy
    Ah, you underestimate the mind of D.A.. Get past the superficial into the emotion of the common human experience and that is what these two films get into. Both D.A. projects, "The Wrestler" and "The Fighter" are looks at the sweet and bitterness that life brings us as only D.A. can bring to the screne. You won't be disappointed!

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