Woody Harrelson 2012 1 Woody Harrelson & Forest Whitaker Join Scott Coopers Out of the Furnace

In addition to announcing that principal photography has started today on the film, Relativity Media have revealed that Woody Harrelson and Forest Whitaker have joined the mouth-watering cast of Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) upcoming revenge-drama ‘Out of the Furnace.’ Harrelson plays the brutal crime boss Harlan DeGroat and Whitaker plays Wesley Barnes, the Sheriff of Braddock. They join the likes of Christian Bale (The Fighter, upcoming The Dark Knight Rises), Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford), Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and Sam Shepard (Safe House) in the gritty drama. Christian Bale will star as older brother Russell Baze in the film alongside Casey Affleck who will play the role of younger brother Rodney Baze Jr. Zoe Saldana has been cast as Bale’s love interest Lena Warren and Sam Shepard will play Red, Russell and Rodney Baze’s uncle.

‘Out of the Furnace’ is a drama about fate, circumstance, and redemption. Russell and his younger brother 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. Check out the press release announcing the start of principal photography below.

Principal photography has begun today on the gripping and gritty dramatic thriller currently titled Out of the Furnace starring Oscar®-winner Christian Bale (The Fighter), Oscar®-nominated Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and Oscar®-nominated Sam Shepard (The Right Stuff). Oscar®-nominated Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) and Oscar®-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) have also joined the award-winning cast. Additional casting to be announced. The film is written and directed by critically-acclaimed Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart).

Collaborating with Cooper behind the scenes is a creative below-the-line team including: director of photography Masanobu Takayanagi (The Grey), production designer Thérèse DePrez (Black Swan), Emmy Award®-winning art director Gary Kosko (Star Trek), costume designer Kurt & Bart (Stoker), Oscar®-nominated editor David Rosenbloom (The Insider) and stunt coordinator Ben Bray (The Fighter) .

Most of the filming will take place in the “mill towns” of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin, Pennsylvania. These communities are slowly but surely rebounding after a devastating slump and will provide the evocative backdrop for the film. Additional filming will take place in the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

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.

Producing are Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) and Jennifer Killoran (The Ides of March) alongside Scott Free’s Ridley Scott (The Grey), Tony Scott (Man on Fire) and Michael Costigan (American Gangster), as well as Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter).

Relativity Media will release the film theatrically in the U.S. Red Granite, the Los Angeles based film production, finance and international sales company has acquired foreign rights outside of the U.S. and will handle international sales. Red Granite international President Danny Dimbort and Co-President Christian Mercuri will begin shopping the film to buyers in Cannes next month.