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Christian Bale May Reteam With Todd Haynes For Political Drama 'Act Of God'

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 26, 2013 7:57 PM
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It's been two years since Todd Haynes' outstanding HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce," and frankly that's two years too long. But he's quietly been brewing some projects in the background. Earlier this year, it was announced he was teaming with Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska for "Carol," based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, but not much has been heard since. Now, another project is surfacing and it could find him working again with an actor who has anchored his more musical-based films.

Christian Bale, who starred in the glamtacular "Velvet Goldmine" and the Bob Dylan anti-biopic "I'm Not There," has been offered the lead role in "Act Of God." If Bale takes the part, he'll play a regular Kansas man who gains notoriety across the nation after taking his local government to task following a devastating tornado. This is going be less natural disaster drama and more of a political exploration if it's anything like what Haynes told us about the project last year. 

“It’s sort of about the great middle of this country and their sort of suspicions about government,” he told us in an interview. “And how that keeps clicking into conservative politics and the way the right makes use of those uncertainties. There’s interesting reasons why people feel the way they do, outside of the coasts and outside of the clear liberal orthodoxy, and that interests me. It’s been too effective, that allegiance, for too many years, and I’m curious about it. So we’re kind of getting inside that process.”

There's no word if the project has backing or when it might shoot, but we'd wager this is the kind of movie that lives or dies on drawing a big name. We'd guess if Bale signs—and his schedule seems pretty clear at the moment—all the other pieces will start falling into place.

We sincerely hope it does come together, not just because it sounds like killer material, but also because it's been too long since the last Haynes feature. [The Tracking Board]

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More: Todd Haynes, Christian Bale, Act Of God

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  • Not in the near future | July 31, 2013 6:02 PMReply

    His schedule's pretty clear?! This will not happen any time soon. Exodus starts shooting in September and it'll go on for mooooonths!

  • Taylor Jones | July 28, 2013 10:55 AMReply

    If Christian Bale signs for this but can only do it in October---when supposedly "Carol" would start filming---then please do this instead, especially if it's an original script with Haynes as a writer. I'll see anything Haynes releases, but I get the sense that if they miss out on "Carol" this go-round, it stands a better chance to live another day, perhaps even with Blanchett still on board.

  • Guest | July 28, 2013 9:00 PM

    No, if it comes down to one or the other, in the near future, please do Carol. Blanchett's not always available..

  • Luke | July 28, 2013 12:44 PM

    Blanchett said recently that she's doing Carol next year with Haynes. Bale's attached to Ridley Scott's Exodus which should start filming later this year. I don't know when Act of God could start filming but since an offer was just now made out to Bale I don't think they'd be ready to do it in October.

  • JenT | July 27, 2013 4:35 PMReply

    I Live in Tulsa,OK We as a Nation MUST look at Truth. MOST of those in Office want to stay because of all the Perks that come with the job. And as we see Once they get a Taste of it they never want to do anything else....they may say its because they want to Help people but they really don't. At least when it comes to Truth. I am Left of Left BECAUSE the Right is & has almost Always been so VERY WRONG. Good Luck w/your Film.

  • JP | July 27, 2013 1:58 PMReply

    What the hell is going on with "Carol"? It went from being DOA to having Haynes and Weinstein on board, and now nothing again. So incredibly frustrating.

  • Alan B | July 28, 2013 2:25 AM

    What the crap are you - or the author - talking about? They announced a preliminary cast ... all of TWO MONTHS AGO. Yeah, that thing must be dead in the water if they haven't released character posters yet, right? Never say never, but Blanchett even talked about the film on Letterman, so at least the star is confident it will start shooting by next year. What do bloggers actually want from film productions? If producers don't announce who's going to be the best boy, suddenly the film is in trouble, but - if they do - then it's a case of WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION, LOL I'M SOOOOOOO OVERRRRRRRRRR THIS FILM.

  • David | July 26, 2013 11:16 PMReply

    Here's to hoping it actually gets made after he's done with "Carol".

  • Northern Star | July 26, 2013 10:46 PMReply

    Whatever suspicions about government "the great middle of the country" - and even that term alone denotes a condescending attitude from Haynes - has have been completely justified of late... NSA, IRS, Benghazi, the absolute lawlessness of this current Administration... 'nuff said.

  • Taylor Jones | July 27, 2013 12:38 PM

    Him merely using that term alone does not "denote" a condescending attitude. When you next consider whether or not to use the word connote or denote, think of the word denote as meaning a dictionary definition of sorts, with the shared D's serving as a mnemonic. See, that's a condescending sentence. It's completely understandable for a man from Oregon (itself not an easy blue state) to have a sociological interest in "the great middle of the country" even if that "great middle" does not impact he, like it currently does. It's probably the same sort of fascination with a group of people that one might have for, say, Chicagoans who cultishly vote Democrat when it's not in their best interest (Rahm...) or for the eco-terrorists of the PacNW (which I hope Reichardt explores wonderfully). Geez, Tom Frank should write a ten-year anniversary edition of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" with an introduction that's longer than the actual book.

  • caro | July 27, 2013 1:36 AM

    it's not condescending : Haynes lives in Oregon since many years

  • oogle monster | July 26, 2013 10:13 PMReply

    IN HAYNES WE TRUST. Seriously- this man is so underrated. He doesn't get the same attention that Scorsese or Malick, but he's a once in a generation talent. Far From Heaven is one of the greatest films in the last few decades of film.

  • Taylor Jones | July 26, 2013 10:03 PMReply

    It's a familiar phenomenon but I trust Haynes has something interesting to say about it or at least a fantastic way to portray/dramatize the familiar. His films have a weird way to both operate academically and emotionally, so him making something politically themed doesn't seem that too far removed from his wheelhouse. As a Kansan, I'd love for him to film here, but obviously one must go where it's cheapest. I cannot recall the last genuinely interesting fictional political film in both content and form. "The Ides of March" was flat and visually inert.

  • Wonder Bread | July 26, 2013 9:58 PMReply

    okay i've never seen Batman dress like that

  • Jake | July 26, 2013 9:42 PMReply


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