David O. Russell isn’t straying too far from his recent tried and true collaborations. Reports surfaced earlier this year that Christian Bale and his “Fighter” director would be re-teaming again for a Black List script called “American Bullshit.” Written by Eric Warren Singer (“The International“), and a project that Ben Affleck was eyeing in January, it appears that not only is Bale in talks to star, but Russell’s most-current lead Bradley Cooper (he stars in “The Silver Linings Playbook“) is on board as well.
Additionally appealing, adventurous heiress Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures are in talks to fund the film. While he’s always attached to several projects at once, the idea of Russell directing Bale and Cooper in a ’70s-set FBI drama sounds much more appealing than any of the projects the “I Heart Huckabees” director has formally tethered himself to lately. Sony Pictures is expected to distribute and the is aiming for a budget in the $30-$40 million range. More importantly, this looks like it might be Russell’s next picture if the negotiations go well.
Based on the true story of Abscam, the FBI’s 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress to root out corruption, the project is the brainchild of Melvin Weinberg, who was hired by the bureau to run the investigation. The operation targeted thirty-one officials leading to 11 convictions, and while it came under scrutiny for its unorthodox methods, all the convictions were upheld on appeal. [Deadline]