Christian Bale is taking on Western drama next. The actor, who is currently riding the award season circuit for his role in The Big Short, has found his next big project in the upcoming movie, Hostiles.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will star Bale as a Native American-hating soldier, nearing retirement, who is given one last assignment: to escort an Indian chief back to his Montana reservation. Throughout the long journey (during which he comes across a young widow and also fights back against attacks by Comanche tribes), he begins to develop a respect for the race he has always hated.
The movie is still in the early stages of development, so there’s still no word on Bale’s potential co-stars. Per THR, the project will reportedly re-team Bale with Scott Cooper, who previously directed Bale in the 2013 thriller, Out of the Furnace.
In addition to helming the movie, Cooper revised the screenplay, which was initially penned by the late Oscar-winning scribe Donald Stewart. Meanwhile, Jon Lesher (Birdman) and Ken Kao (The Sea of Trees) are on board to produce.
For Bale, this will mark the first new project he’s taken on since earning his third Oscar nomination for his role in The Big Short. The actor has become known for making ambitious and versatile choices throughout his career and Hostiles sounds like no exception, particularly with Cooper at the wheel. While their last collaboration, Out of the Furnace, earned mixed reviews, Cooper has since proven he has a way with dark dramas, as evidenced by last year’s well received Black Mass. Meanwhile, Bale has a history of excelling at playing conflicted, morally questionable characters and this latest role sounds right up his alley.
For his part, this wouldn’t be Bale’s first time in a Western flick. The actor last took on the genre in 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma, which earned strong reviews from critics and was also nominated for Best Cast at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards that year. With an acclaimed director on board, Hostiles will hopefully be just as well received.
There’s no word yet on when Hostiles is projected to premiere, but THR reports that filming is expected to start sometime this summer. In the meantime, Bale has several movies set to hit the big screen over the coming year. He’ll next appear in the Terrence Malick-directed film, Weightless, which will reportedly hit theaters later this year and also includes Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, and Michael Fassbender.
Also on his list of upcoming projects is the Terry George-directed romance drama, The Promise, in which he stars opposite Oscar Isaac and which will hit theaters later this year or in early 2017. Bale will also lend his voice to a character in Warner Bros.’ forthcoming animated adaptation, Jungle Book: Origins, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters on October 6, 2017.