Christian Bale will head up the cast for a new upcoming biopic, featuring in a role that seems tailor-made for his talents.

If there’s one thing that Christian Bale excels at, it’s playing characters who exist on the brink of destruction. Portraying those who are on the edge is a Bale speciality, and with his latest role, which has just been announced, he’ll have the opportunity to do so once more.

Bale will star and produce the project, The Church Of Living Dangerously, in which he will portray John Lee Bishop, a pastor with some controversial methods, a man who has certainly lived quite the life. The film will be written by Charles Randolph for New Regency Films. Randolph, among other projects, co-wrote The Big Short with Adam McKay, in which Bale featured.

The biopic will follow Bishop, who ’emerged from a rough and tumble childhood to become pastor of The Living Hope Church, which became so big at his peak that it filled an 8500 square foot former K-Mart superstore in Portland Oregon. A natural showman who would bring exotic animals for a sermon on Noah’s Ark, and once almost got mauled by a Bengal tiger he brought to the pulpit, Bishop became wealthy as the star performer. While the church catered to lost souls with the theory anyone could be forgiven, Bishop didn’t handle the affluence well and his parishioners would not forgive him when the married preacher was caught in an affair with a church employee, and for a raging painkiller and drinking problem. Bishop’s son, David, who developed a meth and heroin habit, and the preacher found a perplexing method of intervention, which involved taking the drugs with his son and ultimately becoming involved with drug running’.

It’s quite the story and we can imagine Bale, who has just finished work on David O Russell’s as yet untitled next film, finding the role appealing given how much drama, controversy and trauma there is to work with. There’s no release details as yet, or other casting, but we’ll let you know as we hear more.

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