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Bale to weather ‘Harsh Times’

Thesp takes turn in Ayer's dark comedy

Christian Bale will star in “Harsh Times,” a drama written and to be directed by David Ayer. It’s his helming debut.

Freddy Rodriguez (“Six Feet Under”) and Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”) will also star in the semiautobigraphical pic, which will begin production in Los Angeles and Mexico at the end of January.

The dark urban comedy is the story of a Marine who comes home from Iraq to start a marriage and civilian life but quickly becomes entangled with an old friend from South Central whose layabout ways have begun to catch up with him.

Andrea Sperling produces the film with Ayer. Pic is backed by private equity.

Bale, who most recently starred in Paramount Classics release “The Machinist,” has wrapped “Batman Begins” for Warner Bros. Pictures and “The New World” for New Line Cinema and director Terrence Malick.

Rodriguez’s credits include “Havoc,” “Chasing Papi” and “Payback.” Longoria’s credits include “The Young and the Restless.”

Ayer’s credits also include “U-571” and “The Fast and the Furious.”

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