Well this is interesting. It appears that Christian Bale is dropping out of the starring role in director Michael Mann’s upcoming film about carmaker Enzo Ferrari, but this isn’t your typical “creative differences” or “scheduling issues.” Per Deadline, Bale is exiting the picture over concerns about his health related to the weight gain that would be necessary to play the car icon. Not one for prosthetics, Bale is known for drastically altering his appearance for films, but apparently Mann’s production start-date of this spring was too fast for him to gain the necessary weight in order to accurately portray Ferrari, and so he reluctantly had to back out of the project.
Bale notoriously dropped down to a skeletal frame for the 2004 picture The Machinist, directly after which he had to beef up to nab the lead role in Batman Begins. He subsequently dropped weight for films like Rescue Dawn and The Fighter, and he recently gained a good deal of weight for David O. Russell’s American Hustle. But it appears that he’s finally met his match in Ferrari, and so the film will be zooming ahead without him.
Mann is determined to make the start-date for the picture and is now looking at “heavyset” actors to fill the role. While the prospect of the filmmaker tackling such juicy material should be cause for celebration, he’s coming off the dumbfounding Blackhat, so I’m a bit more cautious about this one.
Last year, Bale was set to lead the Travis McGee detective novel adaptation The Deep Blue Good-Bye for director James Mangold (The Wolverine), but a knee injury forced the project to be put on indefinite hiatus. He subsequently took on a supporting role in The Big Short, which is why his character is almost always sitting down in the Best Picture nominee. He has no other projects on his immediate plate at the moment, but he’s completed work on Hotel Rwanda director Terry George’s drama The Promise and director Andy Serkis’ motion-capture Jungle Book: Origins.