A casting change is being made on director David O. Russell’s (The Fighter) next film. Russell has been lining up the real-life story previously known as American Bullshit for his next project with Christian Bale in the lead, but Variety now reports that Jeremy Renner is in talks to take over that role. Written by Eric Warren Singer, the stranger than fiction story is based on a real-life undercover sting operation set up in the 1980s by a con artist working for the FBI who rooted out corruption in Congress. Bradley Cooper is in talks to play the con artist, Mel Weinberg, while Renner would play Jimmy Boyle, the FBI agent who busts Weinberg then partners with him on the sting.
Russell’s drama adaptation The Silver Linings Playbook, also starring Cooper, opens later this year, and he’s poised to start production on American Bullshit next February. No word on why Bale dropped out, but he’s currently busy filming two Terrence Malick projects back-to-back.