Sam Shepard Jumps Into 'Out of the Furnace'

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Written and directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart"), the drama co-stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana.

Sam Shepard had joined the cast of the drama Out of the Furnace, Relativity Media co-president Tucker Tooley said Thursday. 

Shepard joins a cast that includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana in the movie written and directed by Scott Cooper, who did Crazy Heart.

PHOTOS: The Christian Bale Directors Posse: 6 Auteurs Won Over by the Actor

The film revolves around brothers in an economically depressed part of the American Rust Belt. When one brother goes to prison, the other is lured into a ruthless gang.

“This is a meaty script with characters as strong as they are complex, and we needed powerhouse actors who complement the story," Tooley said. "Christian, Casey, Zoe and Sam each approach everything they do with heart and conviction. We can’t wait to see what each of them brings to this film."

Shepard will play the uncle of Rodney Baze Jr. (Affleck), and Bale plays his older brother Russell. Saldana is the love interest.

Production on the movie is to begin this month. Relativity Media will release the movie domestically. Red Granite is handling foreign rights and international sales. Red Granite International president Danny Dimbort and co-president Christian Mercuri will be offering the film at Cannes.

The producers are Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Killoran along with Scott Free’s Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Michael Costigan and Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. Energy Entertainment's Brooklyn Weaver is an executive producer.

Bale and Affleck were represented by WME. Saldana and Shepard were repped by ICM.