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.]