Bale to become a fighter
The film tells the story of Boston boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward and his journey to world lightweight victory, assisted by half-brother Dicky Eklund, who himself once decked Sugar Ray Leonard, Variety reports.
Wahlberg will play Ward and is already in training to be in fighting shape for shooting, which begins in July.
Bale will assume the role of Eklund, who after serving time in prison for drugs and robbery went on to reform and help his half-brother achieve the victory that eluded him.
Wahlberg has worked with director Russell on two previous occasions - Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.
He also stars in Peter Jackson's adaptation of best-selling novel, The Lovely Bones, alongside Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon, which is due for release early 2010.
Bale next hits our screens in June as John Conner in the big-budget reinvention Terminator Salvation.