Yup, just your typical FBI agent.
According to Variety, Christian Bale is in talks to join the cast of Michael Mann’s adaptation of Bryan Burrough’s Public Enemies.
The book is a history of the crime wave that raced through the Midwest in the early 1930s, featuring gangs of bank robbers and kidnappers led by famous names such as Babyface Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and the Barker boys. Johnny Depp has been cast as the most famous one of all, John Dillinger. Bale is up for the role of Melvin Purvis, the head of the Chicago FBI office that led the manhunt for Dillinger.
The fledgling FBI, better known at the time as just the Bureau of Investigation, was in disarray when Purvis first joined up, with botched raids and investigations that at best, resulted in criminals or key witnesses walking out of custody and at worst, officers getting killed. But the unit tightened up and the Dillinger investigation and takedown showed how they had matured and learned. Purvis became famous from his work, supposedly inflaming the jealousy of J. Edgar Hoover; perhaps wisely, Purvis left the FBI not long after his most famous case.
As previously noted, I’m a big fan of the book and looking forward to the project. So far the cast is a little too pretty, but they’re reliable actors, so I’m not going to complain. I just would love to see the script and find out what they’re going to include and exclude from the books…but I think the script is in strike limbo. Oh well.