Variety has reported that Jeremy Renner is replacing Christian Bale in the lead role for David O. Russell‘s upcoming untitled drama. Previously known as American Bullshit, the film is based on a true story about conman Melvin Weinberg who worked with the FBI on an operation to take down other conmen, corrupt politicians and mobsters. Bradley Cooper would portray Weinberg and Jeremy Renner would play Jimmy Boyle, the FBI agent in charge of the operation.
Bale has previously worked with David O. Russell on The Fighter playing Dicky Eklund – a role which had won him an Oscar. It is unclear as to why he dropped this film from his slate as he doesn’t seem to be too busy in the immediate future. Perhaps he simply wanted to take it easy after coming off the physically demanding role of Batman in The Dark Knight Rises (which opens this weekend). It’s a shame though, as I was very much hoping to see what kind of chemistry Bale and Cooper would pull off on-screen.
Renner is still an apt replacement and with such an interesting premise and a talented cast (which also includes Amy Adams), the movie still has the potential to be a hit. The film will most likely be ready for release sometime in 2013.
Meanwhile, you can catch Cooper in David O. Russell‘s next film, Silver Linings Playbook, which comes out on November 21. Renner on the other hand can be seen in a few weeks in The Bourne Legacy, opening in theaters on August 10.