It's Bale as manhunter in 'Enemies'


Christian Bale is in talks to star opposite Johnny Depp in "Public Enemies," the Depression-era crime drama Michael Mann is directing for Universal.

An adaptation of Brian Burrough's book "Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-43," the story follows the government's attempt to stop the criminals John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd. Depp is playing Dillinger (HR 12/4).

Bale would play Melvin Purvis, who led the FBI's manhunt for Dillinger and captured more public enemies than any other agent in FBI history. It was Purvis who uttered, "Stick 'em up, Johnny" when he confronted Dillinger in Chicago.

The job is not expected to conflict with Bale's commitment to play John Connor in "Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins," which will follow "Enemies."

Production is due to start later this winter in Chicago and other Midwest locales.

Mann wrote the script.

Mann and Kevin Misher are producing. Robert De Niro and his partner Jane Rosenthal, who originally optioned the book, are exec producing.

Bale, repped by Endeavor and attorney Carlos Goodman, will next be seen in this summer's Batman movie, "The Dark Knight."