Fan-favorite character actor (and two-time Oscar-nominee) Woody Harrelson is already having a good year, thanks to his turn as Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games and a role in the acclaimed HBO TV movie Game Changer. He looks to keep that win streak alive in the future, with a potential part in Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper’s new directorial project, Out of the Furnace.
The cast for Out of the Furnace already includes well-respected, big names like Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, and Oscar-nominee Sam Shepard (recently seen in Safe House). Harrelson is currently in talks to join that acting team for the production, which is scheduled to get underway next month in Pennsylvania.
Cooper’s Out of the Furnace script is based on a spec titled “The Low Dweller” by Brad Ingelsby. The film revolves around a brotherly duo (Bale and Affleck) struggling to make a living in the economically depressed Rust Belt. However, when the former ends up in prison due to “a cruel twist of fate,” the latter gets lured into a violent crime ring headed by a man named Curtis DeGroat (Harrelson’s would-be role) – with terrible consequences for everyone.
Harrelson would make a fine casting addition to those narrative proceedings, should he actually sign on for Out of the Furnace. Variety says the project also has some noteworthy talent serving in a production role, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ridley and Tony Scott (through their Scott Free banner) and Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), among others.
For those with foggy memories, Cooper’s Crazy Heart adaptation is the film which finally snagged Jeff Bridges a Best Actor Academy Award, along with a Best Original Song Oscar for T-Bone Burnett – who, coincidentally, worked on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games. Given the people Cooper is collaborating with on Out of the Furnace, he looks to avoid that infamous “sophomore slump” that many directors have suffered in the past.
Look for Out of the Furnace to reach theaters by the latter half of 2013.