Christian Bale has just picked up a lead role as a drug smuggling preacher in New Regency’s upcoming movie The Church of Living Dangerously. A feature adaptation of a Vanity Fair article by David Kushner, the movie is the next big project for Bale after the actor recently wrapped filming on an upcoming David O. Russell movie at New Regency. The script is written by Charles Randolph (Bombshell), who previously co-wrote the Bale movie The Big Short.

In The Church of Living Dangerously, Christian Bale plays John Lee Bishop, a man who emerged from a troubled childhood to become pastor of The Living Hope Church in Oregon. He is described as a “natural showman” who would do things like bringing in exotic animals to the church for a sermon on Noah’s Ark, though that almost ended in disaster when he was nearly mauled by a Bengal tiger.

His work at the church brought him great wealth, but his star began to fall when the married preacher was caught having an affair with a church employee. Bishop also wound up turning to drugs after his son’s struggles with meth and heroin addiction in an attempt to better understand their power over him. One thing led to another and Bishop eventually started smuggling drugs for a Mexican cartel. He was caught after 20 runs and sentenced to serve five years behind bars.

A director has not yet been named for The Church of Living Dangerously. In addition to starring, Bale is also producing along with New Regency. Also producing are Ellen Goldsmith Vein and Eric Robinson of The Gotham Group. Randolph and Kushner are executive producing with Margaret Riley.

Always busy, Bale has recently finished filming on a David O. Russell movie as part of an ensemble cast alongside other A-listers like Margot Robbie, Rami Malek, Robert De Niro, Zoe Saldana, Mike Myers, and Anya Taylor-Joy. He also wrapped the superhero sequel Thor: Love and Thunder which will bring him into the MCU as the villain Gorr the God Butcher. In recent years, the Dark Knight star has impressed with performances in movies like Vice and Ford v Ferrari.

Recently, it was announced that Bale would star in Scott Cooper’s upcoming Netflix movie The Pale Blue Eye. It will star Bale as a veteran detective investigating a series of murders with the assistance of a young Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling, Harry Potter). Cooper, who also worked with Bale on Out of the Furnace and Hostiles, spoke about why he wanted to bring back Bale for another collaboration with the project.

“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,” Cooper told Deadline. “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.”

There is no release date set for The Church of Living Dangerously at this time. It’s also unclear when filming ewill begin. This news comes to us from Deadline.

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