For a moment there it seemed like "Crazy Heart" director Scott Cooper would just continually keep signing on to a bunch of stuff without ever shooting anything. Indeed, since his country music movie became a big, Academy Award winning hit Cooper has put his name to a plethora of projects, including (take a deep breath): the western family feud saga "The Hatfields And The McCoys" with Brad Pitt attached; an adaptation of William Styron's "Lie Down In Darkness" with Jennifer Lawrence attached; an adaptation of Bob Dylan's "Brownsville Girl" also with Brad Pitt attached; a remake of the Argentinian thriller "Carancho"; former Noah Baumbach project "The Emperor's Children" and the conman tale "The Man In Rockefeller Suit." But it's a gig he took last summer that has now firmly taken the pole position with a major star on board.
Christian Bale -- who looks overjoyed to be freed from the tentpole shackles -- will take the lead in "Out Of The Furnace" (best known to Black List watchers when it placed #5 in 2008 as "The Low Dweller"). The grim tale, which is drawing comparisons to "No Country For Old Men," is set in Indiana in 1986 and follows Slim, recently released from prison, who intends to marry his girlfriend but instead is drawn into a quest for revenge when his brother is murdered after getting involved in the gambling racket.
Interestingly, this project almost rolled in 2011 with Rupert Sanders at the helm and Bale set to star, but it fell apart over scheduling. The former went on to direct "Snow White And The Huntsman," while Bale signed up for the Terrence Malick two-fer "Lawless" and "Knight Of Cups." But the best part is that Cooper won't have to wait for those Malick films to finish. Instead, the plan is to shoot this before the summer when 'Cups' is supposed to roll. Awesome. Even better, the always excellent Robert Duvall is being eyed to join the project as well. Update: Variety adds that Viggo Mortensen is being sought to play the villain, with Casey Affleck, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch and Channing Tatum in the mix to play Bale's brother.
It has been (way) too long for Cooper to make his return, but frankly, he couldn't ask for better material and an actor than this. It's another great choice from Bale who continues to use his Bruce Wayne clout to get smaller movies going, which is always a great thing. We're looking forward to this one. [Heat Vision]