As one of the greatest actors of his generation with an astonishing track record of acclaimed and most often chameleonic performances, Christian Bale is known to be very selective when it comes to choosing his projects. In fact, the 47 year-old is currently on one of the longest onscreen sabbaticals of a career that began all the way back in 1986, having not appeared in a movie since Best Picture nominee Ford v Ferrari was released in November 2019.
However, the Academy Award winner now has a quartet of wildly different and equally exciting efforts lined up, beginning next summer when he plays Gorr the God Butcher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor: Love and Thunder. He’s also taking top billing in David O. Russell’s untitled period comedy and Scott Cooper’s Netflix literary adaptation The Pale Blue Eye, as well as signing on to biopic The Church Of Living Dangerously.
The story tracks the life and misadventures of John Lee Bishop, who came from a rough background that involved his uncles staging bare knuckle boxing fights between neighborhood kids, to become pastor of The Living Hope Church. A natural showman that was once almost mauled by a tiger he brought to a sermon, he became a very wealthy but troubled man. Not only was he caught having an extramarital affair with a church employee, but he also developed severe drug and alcohol addictions.
When Bishop’s son became hooked on heroin and meth, he decided that the best way to understand and intervene would be to take the drugs alongside him. That ultimately ended with the preacher smuggling drugs for a Mexican cartel, before he was caught and jailed after making 20 illicit runs across the border. That’s an absolutely incredible true story, and they may as well etch Bale’s name onto the Best Actor Oscar already.