Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard are set to star in Scott Cooper‘s Out of the Furnace. The film centers on Russell Baze (Bale), who is released after serving four years in prison only to find that his younger brother, Rodney Baze Jr. (Affleck) has been brutally murdered. He sets out to avenge the death and track down the killer. Saldana will play Russell’s love interest, Lena Warren. We had previously reported on Bale, Affleck, and Saldana‘s connection to the project, but Shepard’s name is new. He’ll be playing Russell and Rodney’s uncle, Red. The press release makes no mention of Billy Bob Thornton and Forest Whitaker, who reportedly were circling the villain and sleazy bookie roles, respectively. If they sign on, they’ll be welcome additions to an already strong cast. Production begins later this month in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Hit the jump to check out the press release, which contains the official synopsis.
Just over a week ago, we learned that Christian Bale was looking to make writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) revenge drama Out of the Furnace his next project. Now Variety reports that Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) is in talks to join the production. The story centers on a man who is released after serving four years in prison only to find that his younger brother has been brutally murdered. He sets out to avenge the death and track down the killer. Robert Duvall is expected to play Bale’s uncle, and Viggo Mortensen is circling the villain role.
Should she sign on, Saldana would play Bale’s ex-wife, a waitress who’s now married to the town sheriff. A number of actors are circling the role of Bale’s brother, including Casey Affleck, Taylor Kitsch, Garrett Hedlund, and Channing Tatum. I loved Cooper’s Crazy Heart, and it looks like he’s assembling a stellar cast for his long-awaited follow-up which is said to be “a gritty throwback to 1970s movies.” No deals have been made and the studio still hasn’t greenlit the project quite yet, but they’re looking to start filming this spring as Bale is shooting two Terrence Malick films back-to-back starting this summer. Saldana is currently filming the Star Trek sequel, and is expected to return for James Cameron’s Avatar 2 and 3 whenever he gets around to actually filming them. [Update: Variety has updated their story to say that Casey Affleck is now the certified frontrunner to play Bale's brother.]
After hanging up the Batman cowl for the last time, Christian Bale is now looking towards the future. Heat Vision reports that Bale is now in negotiations to star in writer-director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) revenge drama Out of the Furnace. Previously titled The Low Dweller, the film centers on a man who is released after serving four years in prison only to find that his younger brother has been brutally murdered. He sets out to avenge the death and track down the killer. We previously reported that Bale was considering the pic as a post-Batman project last August, but it appears he’s now settled on starring.
I was a huge fan of Cooper’s Crazy Heart so I’m eager to see his follow-up. The film was sought after by directors like Rupert Sanders and Ridley Scott before Cooper signed on, and Bale actually flirted with the project back when Sanders was attached. The intent is for Robert Duvall to star alongside Bale, but no deals have been made. Cooper wrote the script and Bale plans to shoot Out of the Furnace this Spring before moving on to The Dark Knight Rises press commitments and two Terrence Malick projects. He’ll shoot Malick’s Knight of Cups this summer, followed by Lawless this fall. [Update: Variety reports that Cooper is assembling a top-notch supporting cast, with Viggo Mortensen wanted for the villain role and Casey Affleck, Taylor Kitsch, Garrett Hedlund, and Channing Tatum circling the role of Bale's brother]
Coming off an Oscar win for The Fighter and currently shooting one of the biggest films of 2012, Christian Bale has a wide variety of projects to choose from as his follow-up to The Dark Knight Rises. His third (and supposedly final) Batman film wraps shooting this fall and he’s eyeing various high-profile projects as his follow up. Variety reports that he’s considering Clint Eastwood’s remake of A Star Is Born starring Beyonce Knowles, Michael Mann’s Gold, the villain role in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, and Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. Bale was supposedly set for Zack Snyder’s The Last Photograph but he is no longer involved with that project. Variety also doesn’t mention the untitled Terrence Malick film Bale reportedly signed on to last week.
According to Variety, Bale won’t make his decision until The Dark Knight Rises wraps shooting in November nor is he necessarily the front-runner for any of these movies. It’s also worth noting that all these roles play to Bale’s dramatic side even though he gave audiences a glimpse at his ability to go beyond grim-and-gritty in The Fighter, and it’s easier to get excited about him signing onto a film after that great performance.
Scott Cooper, whose feature film debut was 2009’s Crazy Heart, has been tapped to rewrite and direct the film The Low Dweller for Relativity Media. The script was written on spec in 2008 by Brad Ingelsby and sparked an intense battle for the rights to the film. In the initial deal, Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to produce and star in the film, with Ridley Scott directing. Deadline reports that DiCaprio and Scott will now simply be producing the film.
The Low Dweller is described as a dark drama set in 1986. The story focuses on Slim, “a man released after serving years in prison for murder who wants only to follow through on his promise to marry his long-suffering girlfriend. But when he discovers his brother has been murdered after getting involved in a gambling racket, his goals change and he avenges the murder.” Hit the jump for an update on the other projects that Cooper is currently attached to.
[Update: We've been sent the press release for the film and apparently, though based on the script The Low Dweller, the title of the film is Out of the Furnace. The full press release is included after the jump]