EXCLUSIVE: Christian Bale and director Scott Cooper are set to make their third film together. Bale will star in Cooper’s scripted adaptation of the Louis Bayard novel The Pale Blue Eye. Cross Creek, coming off the Golden Globe-nominated The Trial of the Chicago 7, is financing and producing. CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content are co-repping domestic distribution rights at the European Film Market, with MadRiver handling international sales.
Thriller revolves around the attempt to solve a series of murders that took place in 1830 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Bale will play a veteran detective who investigates the murders, helped by a detail-oriented young cadet who will later become a world famous author, Edgar Allan Poe.
“Even though Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston and died, delirious, in Baltimore, the majority of his life was spent in Virginia, my home state,” Cooper told Deadline. “So I grew up with his presence. He bequeathed us the detective genre, and he’s still such a presence in our culture, with every horror, mystery and science fiction writer indebted to Poe. This is my attempt at a large-canvas whodunit, with a serial killer at its center. I want to make films that push me into a different, maybe uncomfortable space, but I am glad to have Christian go there with me. I’ve wanted to make this for over a decade and fortunately for me, Christian has perfectly aged into the lead character. He was far too young when I first thought of making this. Films are meant to happen at the right time. Christian is always in high demand, but to be able to make this with him will be such a joy for me.”
Bale will produce with Cooper, John Lesher and Cross Creek’s Tyler Thompson. The plan is to shoot in the fall.
Cooper and Bale will be doing their third film together, after teaming on Out of the Furnace and Hostiles. Cooper most recently wrapped the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film Antlers for Fox Searchlight, slated for fall release, and Bale, last seen in Ford v Ferrari, is filming Thor: Love and Thunder, and the untitled David O Russell film.
Cross Creek set the film as part of its multi-pic development deal with Streamline Global’s Chris Sharp, Emily Salveson and Ryan Smith.