Christian Bale Saddles Up

He stars in the Western Drama, Hostiles

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BY: Claire Connors

In the new western drama, Hostiles, writer/director Scott Cooper tells the harrowing tale of the Army’s transport of Native Americans across dangerous “Indian” territory in 1892. Christian Bale stars as Captain Blocker, in charge of protecting the Cheyenne chief and his family, although he has a deep distrust and hatred for the indigenous tribe.

Cooper, who has previously directed great films like Crazy Heart (2009) starring Jeff Bridges and Black Mass (2015) with Johnny Depp, has a knack for casting his films with fantastic character actors. Besides Bale, we have Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), as a widow mourning the death of her family at the hands of natives, Stephen Lang (Gettysburg), and in the roles of nervous Army guards accompanying the Natives, Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), Jesse Plemons (Fargo), John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C), and up-and-comer Jonathan Majors.

As for Bale, the actor is about to make another huge physical transformation for an upcoming role. Known for gaining and losing weight for his parts—he lost 40 pounds for The Machinist (2004) and gained a ton of muscle a year later for Batman Returns—his next project is perhaps his most challenging: playing former Vice President Dick Cheney in the biographical drama, Backseat.

But perhaps his most transforming role is that of Bagheera in the live-action film version of The Jungle Book opening in October 19th. In case you haven’t read Kipling’s book or seen the Disney version, Bagheera is a panther. Now this we’ve gotta see.