Christian Bale has previously collaborated with director Scott Cooper twice before, on crime thriller Out Of The Furnace and revisionist western Hostiles. Obviously they were good experiences, as the two are teaming up for a third time. This one is another crime thriller, titled The Pale Blue Eye.
Bale will star, while Cooper will write the script himself, an adaptation of Louis Bayard‘s 2006 novel of the same name. Bale will portray a seasoned detective investigating a series of murders at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point in 1830. His character is assisted in his investigation by a young, intelligent cadet named Edgar Allan Poe. Yes, that one.
Bale as a 19th century detective assisted by Edgar Allan Poe sounds interesting to say the least. But how did this project even materialise? Cooper told Deadline:
“Even though Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston and died, delirious, in Baltimore, the majority of his life was spent in Virginia, my home state. So I grew up with his presence. He bequeathed us the detective genre, and he’s still such a presence in our culture, with every horror, mystery and science fiction writer indebted to Poe. This is my attempt at a large-canvas whodunit, with a serial killer at its center.
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. 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”.
Cooper has tried to branch out with his last few projects. After dabbling in crime thrillers, the aforementioned western Hostiles was a surprising shift, before he then turned to directing horror film Antlers. In a non-COVID world we would have seen that all the way back in April 2020, but it’s been delayed twice and is now set to arrive this October.
So we’ll keep an eye on The Pale Blue Eye. Bale and Cooper (and Poe) teaming up for a 19th century “large-canvas whodunit”, as Cooper put it, should be worth watching.