Bale tunes up Madden’s ‘Mandolin’

Cage, Cruz already cast to play leads

Christian Bale (“American Psycho”) will co-star in Working Title’s “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.”

Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz have been cast to play the leads in the epic romance, based on Louis de Bernieres’ bestselling novel set during the WWII occupation of the Greek island of Cephallonia.

John Madden is directing Shawn Slovo’s script; shooting is expected to start in Greece next month.

Bale will play Mandras, a local fisherman who plans to marry Pelagia, a young Greek woman played by Cruz. After Mandras leaves the island to fight with the Greek army, Pelagia falls in love with the Italian commander Corelli.

Bale, who is repped by CAA, will appear next in Paramount’s “Shaft,” due out in June. His credits include “Little Women,” “Velvet Goldmine,” “Metroland” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“Mandolin” is co-financed by Universal Pictures, parent of Working Title, and Canal Plus. Miramax has distribution in the U.K. and Australia.

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