Christian Bale Adopts Creed Of Violence

In talks for Mexican Revolution saga

Batman may be strict about not killing anyone, but Christian Bale may shift to a different philosophy, if current talks end with him signing up for The Creed Of Violence. He'd play the assassin Rawbone, in Universal's adapation of Boston Teran's novel.

The Creed Of Violence, Teran's fifth book, is about a father, Rawbone, and his estranged son John Lourdes, who's on the other side of the law working for the Bureau of Investigation. It's 1910 with the Mexican Revolution looming, and Rawbone's lucrative plan to drive a truck full of stolen weapons south of the border to sell them comes unstuck when the law catches up with him. But he agrees to carry on with the plan in exchange for immunity from prosecution, taking Lourdes into the desert to expose the corrupt oil magnates at the heart of the uprising.

The film is being produced and financed by Cross Creek Pictures, whose head honcho Brian Oliver says it "brings a unique perspective to US imperialism for oil in the early 20th century." He compares the tale to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, but you might also draw useful comparisons with The Wages Of Fear (driving a truck somewhere dangerous), There Will Be Blood (oil), and the cycle of Italian "Zapata Westerns" like A Bullet For The General and A Fistful Of Dynamite.

Michael De Luca (The Social Network) is a producer, and the screenplay is by Todd Field (Little Children), who'll also direct. "The hallucinogenic epic that Rawbone traverses with the young John Lourdes produces one of the most exciting literary pairings since Fagin met Twist," Field says. "Rawbone is a raconteur straddling the old West and belle epoque... braided with wit, cold-blooded efficiency and a surprisingly expansive soul."

How could Bale possibly refuse? With or without him, the producers are looking to start shooting, in the American South West and Mexico, in early 2013.