Christian Bale has been known to take some crazy roles that are, at times all over the acting spectrum. Sure, he’s held down an iconic turn as a superhero, but other roles have taken him to some pretty crazy extremes. This next role might be one of his wildest yet with Deadline reporting that he has signed on to play a drug-smuggling preacher in The Church of Living Dangerously. It is based on a crazy true story about a pastor who was at the top of the pulpit game only to end up working for a major cartel.
In The Church of Living Dangerously, Christian Bale will be playing John Lee Bishop, a preacher in Portland, Oregon who ran a megachurch that at one point boasted congregations up and over 8,000 people. His story was detailed in a 2019 Vanity Fair article by David Kushner that described a meteoric rise as a megachurch pastor that featured him bringing live animals up on stage and enthralling legions of parishioners. But it only led to a pretty tragic fall when a couple of years later he had left the church, developed a drug addiction, and got mixed up running drugs for just the wrong people. It’s a bananas and totally true story and Bale will be in the driver’s seat.
Charles Randolph is handling the script after penning The Big Short as well as Bombshell. The story is in good hands on that front and this thing could be a pretty wild ride. We are set to see Christian Bale bring a 350-pound tiger up the preacher’s pulpit (this happened in real life) but also getting addicted to heroin before it is all said and done. We have seen Bale go method with this kind of thing before when he played Dicky Edlund in 2010s The Fighter. That saw him dropped a scary amount of weight to look every bit the tragically addicted Eklund.
No other casting decisions for The Church of Living Dangerously appear to have been made beyond Christian Bale at this point, but considering the amount of cache he brings to the big screen, we could see some other big names fall into line in short order. And there is no word on the director yet either.
The next role for Christian Bale will see him re-entering the comic book universe once again, though in a totally different part. He is switching over to the Marvel side of things when he will play Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder. It will be a more villainous role than we have seen in the past, a clear departure from his caped crusader days in the Dark Knight trilogy.
And Christian Bale has also wrapped up filming an untitled David O. Russell film that features an absolutely stacked cast. Among just some of the names with Bale are Margot Robbie, Michael Shannon, Zoe Saldana, John David Washington, Robert De Niro, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rami Malek, and Mike Meyers. And there are more. This could be a real event considering the overwhelming star power. As for The Church of Living Dangerously, there is no early news on release plans with other aspects of the production still needing to be rounded out.