Hotel Rwanda director Terry George has recruited Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac to anchor two points of a historical love triangle in The Promise, an epic romance that George co-wrote with Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha).
The film, set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, focuses on three individuals – Michael, a medical student in love with a woman but grappling with the schism between old-world traditions and his new love; Chris, a Paris-based reporter for the Associated Press in love with the same woman and with the adrenaline rush of wartime reporting; and Ana, a beautiful and sophisticated woman.
Bale will play Chris, while Isaac has been set for the role of Michael. No actress has yet been set for the part of Ana.
The draw of The Promise is clear for George. The Ottoman Empire ended in 1922 following the 1915 Armenian Genocide, a catastrophic event that saw between 800,000 and 1.5 million people killed. The filmmaker was a guest of the Armenian State Pedagogical Universal in March of 2013, and he then compared that genocide to the Rwanda genocide he covered so effectively in Hotel Rwanda. It makes sense that George would want to explore the monstrous chapter in the Ottoman Empire’s history on the big screen.
Bale is an Oscar winner who has shown a clear dedication to starring in movies that look at other cultures. He appeared in Chinese-language war film The Flowers of War and Vietnam-set Rescue Dawn – and looking much further back, he made his big screen debut in Empire of the Sun.
As for Isaac, he’s in the middle of a career boom at the moment thanks to roles in upcoming blockbusters Star Wars: The Force Awakens and X-Men: Apocalypse. The actor earned raves for his lead performance in Inside Llewyn Davis, but it was really the one-two punch of A Most Violent Year and Ex Machina that put him on the map. Don’t expect Isaac to fade anytime soon, especially with HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero poised to thrust him into the Emmy race. Working with Bale and George must have been a no-brainer for the actor.
We’ll keep you posted as The Promise casts its female lead.