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A major part of what makes Christian Bale such a fascinating figure and compelling performer is that he's willing to take major risks with his work. Not only does he fully immerse himself into his characters—sometimes to the point of frightful emaciation—but also he's also willing to totally invest in the vision of different directors, thereby transcending genre lines and casting niches that many other stars have been confined by. Of course, the past few years' Bale's career has been chiefly tied to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. But with The Dark Knight Rises, Bale's connection to the potentially continuing franchise appears to have been severed. Now, he's free to pursue new roles and challenges.
Chief among these could be writer-director Todd Field's latest feature, an adaptation of Boston Teran's novel The Creed of Violence. The story is set around the border of Mexico and the United States in 1910, when the former was on the verge of bloody revolution. Ever the opportunist, career criminal Rawbone looks to profit through arms dealing. But after being caught at the border, he's offered a dangerous route to avoid prison. He must team up with a young and straight-laced Bureau of Investigation agent named John Lourdes, who knows more about Rawbone than he lets on. Together the two proceed into the oil fields of Mexico to infiltrate the country's criminal underground, crossing paths with thieves, smugglers, and hired guns.
Should he sign on, Variety reports Bale would play Rawbone, making his first appearance in a Western since 2007's 3:10 to Yuma. After seeing him so often of late portray an honorable man, it'll be fun to see Bale caked in squalor and reveling in the chance to play a self-concerned crook. And if Field's brings his acerbic sense of humor—seen in the remarkable suburban drama Little Children—to the mix, The Creed of Violence could be something truly spectacular.
With Bale shooting back to back Terrence Malick movies for the remainder of 2012, producers anticipate The Creed of Violence will go into production in the American Southwest and parts of Mexico early next year. So news on who will be Bale's co-star should surface shortly.