If there’s a word that describes the antithesis of Christian Bale’s career, it must be “boring.” No matter if the film is good or bad, you can at least count on Bale to choose a role that’s worth talking about. This line of thinking applies doubly for his latest project, Hostiles, where he will play a man forced to team with his supposed enemy, in the name of survival through the western frontier.
That enemy, according to the logline that The Hollywood Reporter is reporting, is a Native American chief who is put under the care of Christian Bale’s character. However, his hatred will be tested, as the men will encounter many obstacles during the their trek to Montana, where the chief resides. Of course, seeing that the mission that occupies the center of Hostiles’ story puts Bale’s character at the point before he’s about to retire, things might not end so happily.
Hostiles re-teams Christian Bale with his Out Of The Furnace director, Scott Cooper, who just recently had Hollywood buzzing with his film Black Mass. The fact that both Bale and Cooper have worked on hard boiled projects similar to the one they’re about to embark on is exciting enough, especially considering that the pair have worked together before. However, the most exciting part about this new venture is that it reminds us of the last time Bale took up a lead in a western, which was in the severely underrated 3:10 To Yuma. If Hostiles manages to be half the taut and morally dark thrill ride that film ended up turning out to be, then this film just got our attention.
While Hostiles is in the early stages of development, it could be said that the success of The Revenant may have helped bring this film into existence. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s tale of vengeance and survival in the American frontier has not only scored a pretty solid box office showing, it’s also racked up 12 Academy Award nominations – including nods for Best Picture and Best Actor. While this may not be the motivation for either Christian Bale or Scott Cooper’s involvement with the project, Hostiles may have gotten an extra boost into production on the back of the notion that the indie film might become a hot acquisition target once completed.
A perfect storm of the right place, the right time, and especially the right talent are the three factors that Hostiles could most likely thank for being an active project. With the climate right for a western with similar, yet different enough, material from that of The Revenant; this film could land Christian Bale another Academy Award nomination, as well as a couple more for varying aspects of the film’s production. We’ll have to wait and see how things pan out, as the film does not have a production start date or release date in mind at this moment. Though don’t be surprised if this film gets fast tracked after next weekend’s Oscars, provided that The Revenant wins its fair share of Oscar gold.