Casting Friday: Brad Pitt in Aronofsky's Fighter; Giovanni Ribisi in Cameron's Avatar
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.
Initial 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.
James 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!