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Forest Whitaker Joins Scott Cooper’s ‘Out of the Furnace’; Woody Harrelson Confirmed

Written by on April 13, 2012 

We announced last week that Sam Shepard had joined the cast of Scott Cooper‘s Crazy Heart follow-up Out of the Furnace, and, well, with Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, and Casey Affleck already on board at that point, it seemed lofty to hope for any more juicy announcements before the onset of production. But Relativity Media, who will be handling the film domestically, have dropped one last big ball as the film goes into production today: Woody Harrelson is now confirmed after circling the villain role and Forest Whitaker has also been added to the cast.

Harrelson is, of course, busy as ever, coming off his lighting-power performance in Rampart and, most recently, leaving an impression in both the respected Game Change and the mega-popular The Hunger Games. He’s also got writer-director Martin McDonagh‘s Seven Psychopaths due out later this year, which is surely near the peak of “most-anticipated” lists for any fans of In Bruges. Whitaker, meanwhile, has been flowing mostly under the radar since his Oscar-winning turn in The Last King of Scotland, so it’s more than agreeable to see his name turn up in something as high-quality-sounding as this.

Most of the filming for Out of the Furnace, which kicked off today, will take place in Pennsylvania. The towns of Braddock, North Braddock, and Rankin are cited as the primary locales, while Pittsburgh, which gained a hefty amount of recent publicity for housing The Dark Knight Rises, will also be used for some additional sequences.

I’ve pasted a portion of the extended press release below, which is mostly similar to the one we gave you last week:

The currently-titled Out of the Furnace tells the story about fate, circumstance and justice. Russell (Bale) and his younger brother Rodney (Affleck) live in the economically depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother is lured into one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast — a mistake that will almost cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother.

Saldana plays Bale’s love interest Lena Warren and Shepard plays Red, Russell and Rodney Baze’s uncle. Harrelson plays the brutal crime boss Harlan DeGroat and Whitaker plays Wesley Barnes, the Sheriff of Braddock.

Is there anything left to be worried about here? It’s all sounding pretty good to me.

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