Christian Bale is close to a deal to star opposite Russell Crowe in James Mangold's "3:10 to Yuma." Relativity Media is stepping in to finance the film, which has been without a home since Columbia Pictures put it into turnaround earlier this summer.
The move is certain to give Mangold a sigh of relief as the Western remake is taking a tortuous journey to the screen. Columbia spent four years developing the film, which it had hoped to start filming this summer.
Tom Cruise had been circling the film for his follow-up to "Mission: Impossible III," with Eric Bana rumored to be in pursuit of a role as well.
But by June, Cruise and Bana were no longer in the mix, and Columbia put "Yuma" in turnaround, leaving producer Cathy Konrad and Mangold to shop the project to various studios.
Fox 2000 was believed to be the front-runner based on Konrad and Mangold's relationship with topper Elizabeth Gabler, who championed their "Walk the Line."
"Yuma" is based on the 1957 film that starred Glenn Ford as captured outlaw Ben Wade, who finds himself in the custody of small-time rancher Dan Evans. The rancher is secretly trying to take the outlaw to a railway station to catch a train to Yuma for the outlaw's court date. A battle of wills ensues.
Mangold's take sees Crowe as the outlaw and Bale as the rancher. Michael Brandt, Derek Haas and Stuart Beattie have all contributed to the screenplay.
The movie is on track for a fall shoot, after the Endeavor-repped Bale films "I'm Not There," Todd Haynes' fractured Bob Dylan biopic. After "Yuma," Bale, who has "The Prestige" opening Oct. 20, will then segue to his "Batman Begins" sequel, "The Dark Knight," which is scheduled to start shooting in late winter or spring.