James Badge Dale Joins Mamet's Blackbird

Co-starring with Cate Blanchett

Not counting short films, it's five years since we last heard from David Mamet, in the form of the excellent Redbelt. Back in May came the news that he was working on a conspiracy thriller called Blackbird, with Cate Blanchett attached to star. While not much was heard in the meantime, there are finally developments this morning, with the news that James Badge Dale has joined the project.

Not to be confused with the other Blackbird in development (which is a music-biz romance with Machine Gun Kelly and Minnie Driver), this one is a Hitchcockian affair. Blanchett's character heads to LA for her grandfather's funeral, and learns that the erstwhile Hollywood VFX artist used to moonlight for shady US intelligence agencies and was involved in the JFK assassination. It's knowledge that puts her in some danger from people who would rather it stayed secret, and she needs to delve even deeper into what her grandfather knew in order to stay alive.

Dale's role is that of a military major who's also trying to get to the bottom of Grandad's political secrets. So that could make him an antagonist, or an ally for Blanchett inside the system.

Dale recently finished shooting Stretch (reuniting him with The Grey's director Joe Carnahan), Miss Meadows and Relative Stranger, which he followed with a stint in the off-Broadway play Small Engine Repair. We just saw Blanchett in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, and we'll next see her in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.

Mamet wrote and is directing Blackbird, and filming will start in Sydney in January.