"The Dark Knight Rises" star Christian Bale will play the older, and somewhat wiser, brother of Casey Affleck ("Gone Baby Gone") in the upcoming high-profile drama "Out of the Furnace."

Shooting had just gotten underway in Pennsylvania. In the film, Russell (Bale) and Rodney (Affleck) are working class brothers who are desperate to escape to better lives. After Russell ends up in prison, Rodney is lured into a violent crime ring, which tests their brotherly bond once Russell is released.

Director Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart") has assembled a stellar cast, including Zoe Saldana ("Avatar"), Sam Shepard ("The Right Stuff"), "Hunger Games" co-star Woody Harrelson and Forest Whitaker ("Last King of Scotland"). That's a lot of Oscar bait (including Bale and Affleck), and it wouldn't be a shock to see "Furnace" among the acting nominees next year. Cooper directed Jeff Bridges to a Academy Award in "Crazy Heart."

Affleck, who was nominated for an Oscar for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," was recently seen in "Tower Heist."

Oscar-winner Bale ("The Fighter") will soon reprise his role as Batman in a little movie called "The Dark Knight Rises," before starring in two Terrence Malick-directed dramas -- "Lawless" and "Knight of Cups" -- next year.