Christian Bale is best known for playing Batman, so we know he’s familiar with portraying dark, shadowy figures. OK, we got the easy joke out of the way.

According to Variety‘s Justin Kroll, Bale is in negotiations to play former vice president Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s upcoming biopic about the controversial figure who was a strong advocate for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11, and largely responsible for the “enhanced interrogation” techniques which included waterboarding suspects with ties to international terrorism.

Cheney was previously portrayed on screen by Richard Dreyfuss in Oliver Stone’s W. (2008), which wasn’t subtle in its portrayal of the vice president as megalomaniac who wanted conflict in the Middle East to seize control of the region’s oil.

Also in talks to join the project are Amy Adams for the role of Cheney’s wife, Lynne, and Steve Carell, who would portray former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Bale and Carell previously worked with McKay on 2015’s The Big Short.

One immediate thought is that Bale, 43, is too young to play Cheney. Now 76 years old, Cheney was in his 60s during the eight years he served as vice president under George W. Bush. (By the way, who will play Bush in the film?) But make-up, costuming and acting can certainly go a long way in making an actor seem older.

Bale showed in American Hustle (2013) that he has no issue with using wigs and prosthetics to look different. Throughout his career, he’s changed his body — notably his weight — for roles The Machinist, Batman Begins (he seemed to lean down for the two Batman sequels) and The Fighter (for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor).

McKay is also writing the screenplay for the film, though it’s not clear what source material he could be working from. For example, Barton Gellman wrote an examination of Cheney for a 2008 book titled Angler. But with so much reported on Cheney during his years in office and the eight years since, McKay presumably has loads of material to use as reference.

When the project was announced last November, Deadline reported that the film would follow Cheney from his days as CEO at Halliburton to the White House, where he wielded a considerable amount of power as the vice president.

Bale, Adams and Carell are presumably close to signing on with this news being reported. Producers want to begin filming by the end of spring with ambitions of having the movie ready in time for the end of the year and awards consideration. (The Big Short followed a similar schedule, which paid off well.)


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.