Christian Bale has found his follow-up to “The Dark Knight Rises” and now the search is on to find his co-stars. Bale will headline revenge thriller “Out of the Furnace” for director Scott Cooper. Based on Brad Ingelsby’s story “The Low Dweller,” Bale will play a man recently released from prison, intent on avenging the death of his younger brother, and the film is being envisioned as “a gritty throwback to pics of the 1970’s.” Is it just me or do all of the new revenge thrillers heading into production begin with a man getting out of prison? Hollywood sure loves trends.
With Bale most likely locked in, Variety reports Viggo Mortensen is being eyed for the villain, Robert Duvall as Bale’s character’s supportive uncle and the aforementioned dead younger brother will likely be one of the following rising stars: Casey Affleck, Channing Tatum, Taylor Kitsch or Garrett Hedlund.
Of the four, Affleck is the oldest, most seasoned, most critically acclaimed and perhaps thusly, the most likely candidate. Younger brother to actor/director Ben Affleck, the younger Affleck starred in all three “Ocean’s Eleven” movies and is already an Oscar nominee for “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.”
Kitsch is a name that’s being heard all over the media in recent days thanks to the immiment release of Disney’s high profile, high risk and notoriously high budged “John Carter”, with the virtually unknown “Friday Night Lights” star in the lead. The early word of mouth is good though, and with “Battleship” and Oliver Stone’s “Savages” also releasing this year, Kitsch could be a name we’ll be hearing even more of in the coming months, and certainly so if he lands this gig.
He’s headlined a couple of duds recently, but Hedlund must be impressing industry insiders because his name is constantly showing up on shortlists for every high profile project, from “Bourne Legacy” to the aforementioned “Savages” to the one he landed: “Akira.” That one may not be happening for a while though, and after he finishes the currently filming Coen Brothers drama “Inside Llewyn Davis”, Hedlund should be free for “Furnace.”
Tatum is one name that we are scratching our heads over. He’s certainly paving his own path to success on the big screen, but it’s been one filled with entertainment rather more on the shallow side thus far, with dance flick “Step Up” his signature claim to fame and recent outings like “21 Jump Street” a triple feature with Steven Soderberg – “Magic Mike”, “Haywire” and “Side Effects.” Landing this role would be a nice leap into serious acting for the muscle bound, often underestimated Tatum.
“Out of the Furnace” will take its scheduling cues from Bale, who will try to fit it in between shooting two movies with Terrence Malick this summer and fall. Casting is likely to be shuffled around until his deal is finalized.