It’s tough to think of a director more suited to adapt Claire Messud‘s acclaimed “disenchanted upper class New Yorkers” novel than Noah Baumbach, so it’s a bummer to hear that the filmmaker has now pulled out of the project. On the plus side, his replacement sounds like an interesting, if not quite as obvious, choice — Scott Cooper, who made his directorial debut with 2009′s Crazy Heart and hasn’t helmed another picture since. More details after the jump.

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Very rarely do fans get a glimpse into the decision making process of major stars. All we know is that the biggest actors in Hollywood can often seemingly do whatever they want, so people like Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise get their pick of the best scripts out there. It seems like Christian Bale could be joining that elite list.

The recent Oscar-winner (something none of those other men can claim) slips seamlessly between smaller characters pieces, like The Machinist, and massive blockbusters like The Dark Knight Rises. According to Variety, Bale has a pretty impressive list of projects he can choose from after he hangs up Batman’s cowl. Think of the info that follows as a glimpse at Bale’s own personal desk. Will he choose A Star is Born directed by Clint Eastwood, Gold directed by Michael Mann, Oldboy directed by Spike Lee, Out of the Furnace directed by Scott Cooper or, as previously reported, Noah directed by Darren Aronofsky?

After the jump, we break down the latest on each of these projects and figure out where Bale would best fit in. Read More »

UPDATE: Variety repeats the news, but refers to the film as Out of the Furnace.

Since Crazy Heart became a critical, awards and art-house success, director Scott Cooper has been linked to a few different projects. Jennifer Lawrence was hoping he’d make Lie Down in Darkness, and ask her to star in it. He was an option for the Warner Bros. film Tales From the Gangster Squad, and mentioned as a possible director for The Hatfields and the McCoys.

While some of those projects might still happen (Tales From the Gangster Squad is definitely in the hands of another, however) Relativity has hired him to rewrite the Brad Ingelsby script The Low Dweller, and to direct the film. Read More »

Currently number two on the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list, Laura Hillenbrand‘s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption has been purchased by Universal Pictures as a potential directing gig for Francis Lawrence. The book centers on the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who endured terrible trials as a prisoner of war during World War II. They’re hoping that Scott Cooper, who wrote Crazy Heart, will adapt the script. Read more about Zamperini’s story, as well as the half-century tale of this film’s path to the big screen, after the jump. Read More »

The question to ask about the Warner Bros. film Tales From the Gangster Squad might not be ‘who will direct,’ but ‘why didn’t all these other guys want to direct?’ There has been a lot of talk about possible directors, including Ben Affleck and Darren Aronofsky, but the WB film keeps looking for someone to sign on. The two new choices are Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Jose Padilha (Elite Squad), with Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) still hanging on. Read More »

I can’t tell if Tales From the Gangster Squad, based on a series of LA Times articles and intended as an ensemble ‘actor’s piece,’ is as much of a priority at Warner Bros. as news would make it seem, or if the film is just an easy headline. The script details an LAPD squad’s efforts to oppose the incursion of organized crime into the city of LA, and is said to be fantastic.

In the last couple weeks, perhaps motivated by the reception for The Town, the film was offered to Ben Affleck, and yesterday word came down that Warner Bros. lobbed it at Darren Aronofsky. But with Affleck passing and Aronofsky looking likely to take Wolverine 2 (what a strange world) WB reportedly has five more names on a list of possible directors. Read More »

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Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper is considering directing an adaptation of William Styron‘s family drama Lie Down in Darkness. (He’s also looking at The Hatfields and the McCoys.) To the best of our knowledge, he doesn’t have a lead picked at this point, but there is an actress who sounds rather determined to get it: Jennifer Lawrence, who was so good in Winter’s Bone and will soon be in X-Men: First Class. Read More »

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I don’t know how Brad Pitt really has time to schedule anything of late, but evidently he’s trying to get The Hatfields and the McCoys made at Warner Bros. The film would cover the legendary American family feud, and now has Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper attached to direct. Read More »

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