One of the more successful modern leading men, Christian Bale will soon be starring alongside a rising talent who’s set to tackle a load of dream projects in Oscar Isaac. The duo will share the screen, vying for the affections of the same woman, in what will apparently be a grand love story, set to the tragic backdrop of the last days of the Ottoman Empire.
According to a report by The Wrap, Bale and Isaac will top the marquee in the upcoming historical war drama, The Promise. The movie’s morose mix of horrific historical happenings and human drama will be in the capable hands of director, Terry George, who wrote and directed the 2004 Oscar-nominated drama, Hotel Rwanda. This time, George will work off a script by Robin Swicord, the screenwriter behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Memoirs of a Geisha.
As the report’s description of the plot indicates, the early 20th century setting will see Bale will play a character named Chris, a renowned American journalist, based out of Paris, who finds his current assignment in the midst of a combat zone; presumably somewhere in or around modern Turkey during the midst of the soon-to-be dissolved Ottoman Empire. Mired in the midst of the Ottoman government’s mandated genocide of the Armenian people, it seems that Chris still manages to find love in all the wrong places when he his amorous attentions focus on the yet-to-be-cast character of Ana, who is described as "beautiful and sophisticated."
However, it seems that Ana has another would-be suitor sizing her up in Oscar Isaac’s character, Michael, a medical student described as being "brilliant," who seems to be distracted amongst all the surrounding strife. He soon finds himself in a love triangle of sorts, competing with the reporter, Chris for the quarry that is the affections of ingénue, Ana. Yet, it seems that Michael’s Achilles heel in this impromptu amorous competition is the apparent fact that he’s constrained by the conflicts of his passions with (presumably familial) old world traditions.
Of course, a couple of worldly bachelors bucking for the same sweetheart will hardly be the extent of the monumental implications in this film. The film is described as taking place during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, which saw its dissolution in 1922, after the egregious ethnic cleansing mandate which saw an estimated 800,000 to 1.5 million ethnic Armenians killed. It is unknown as to what kind of role the members of this love triangle will have amidst the occurrences of these historical atrocities. Having nabbed two solid leading mean, this film is, nevertheless off to a good start. It will be interesting to see which actress will play opposite the duo as the desired Ana.
If Terry George’s work on Hotel Rwanda is any indication, then we could be in for a film centralized on audience-accessible human concepts like forbidden romance, shaped by the sickening scythe of a war that’s fueled not just by borders and politics, but visceral enmity. It’s certainly a strong parallel to a love story. In fact, in a March 2013 speech at the Armenian State Pedagogical University, George drew a comparison of the Armenian genocide to the one in Rwanda; possibly indicating his inspiration for the project.
The Promise will reportedly begin production this fall in locations in Southern Europe such as Portugul, as well as the Canary Islands. No release window has been projected as of yet.