Christian Bale is in discussions to play Dick Cheney in a biopic of the former vice president’s life from writer-director Adam McKay, according to a report.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that McKay — the Oscar-winning screenwriter and director behind 2015’s The Big Short — is currently prepping an as-yet-untitled Cheney biopic at Paramount.
Bale — who earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for his Big Short role — is reportedly in talks to star as Cheney, who first came to political power during the Nixon administration, served in the House as a representative from Wyoming for a decade, and later became Secretary of Defense in the George H.W. Bush administration before becoming CEO of Haliburton, and, eventually, vice president under George W. Bush.
Meanwhile, Steve Carrell is reportedly attached to play Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Amy Adams would play Cheney’s wife, Lynne.
According to Variety, McKay has said he’s spent “countless hours” researching Cheney’s life and has pushed hard for Bale to take on the role.
The project was first announced in November. McKay will produce the film through his Gary Sanchez Productions banner with partners Will Ferrell and Kevin Messick, as well as Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. The producers are reportedly looking for a spring start date to ensure the film is ready for an awards-season run.
Bale and Carrell previously worked together on The Big Short, while Bale and Adams co-starred in 2013’s American Hustle.
The Cheney biopic isn’t McKay’s first project to revolve around the politics of the George W. Bush era; he previously worked with Ferrell on the one-man Broadway show You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush, which was later turned into an HBO film.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum