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UPDATE: Variety has added to the story saying that Viggo Mortensen is being looked at as the central villain while Casey Affleck, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch and Channing Tatum are being targeted to play Bale's younger brother.
In August of last year speculation was running rampant about what where Oscar winner Christian Bale would go following the end of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. Reports linked him to projects like Spike Lee's Oldboy remake, Darren Aronofsky's Noah, Clint Eastwood's A Star Is Born and Michael Mann's Gold. We already know that he won't be starring in a few of those titles - he turned down Oldboy, won't be doing Noah and A Star is Born has been delayed - but now the actor is indeed in talks for one of the movies mentioned last summer.
Bale is currently negotiating to star in Out Of The Furnace, the new film from Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. According to THR, the project has actually been around for years, starting as a 2008 spec script by Brad Ingelsby and formally known as The Low Dweller. Should he sign on, Bale will play a man released from prison after four years in jail. Though his homecoming is welcomed and he has a desire to live a peaceful life, he has a score to settle, namely getting revenge against the man who killed his younger brother.
This is actually the second time that Bale has been close to the project - he originally signed on when Rupert Sanders was attached to direct - but he was forced to drop out due to scheduling. The trade also says that Robert Duvall, who played in Cooper's Crazy Heart, is also being looked at to play a role, though there's nothing official as of yet. Production on the project is hoping to start up in the fall so that Bale can be free to both promote The Dark Knight Rises and shoot Terence Malick's Knight of Cups.