Watching Adam McKay, one of the men behind Funny or Die, Anchorman, and Step Brothers transition to more politically charged films has been fascinating. You can see the early stages in the end credits of the infographic-heavy end credits of The Other Guys, culminating in Oscar gold for his film The Big Short. McKay is following it up with Vice, a biographical film starring Christian Bale as former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.
The first trailer for this film shows just how dramatic Bale’s weight gain for the role was. No prosthetics here—that belly is legit. This shouldn’t be too big a surprise for anyone who’s followed Bale’s career, as he constantly loses and gains weight to an extreme depending on the role—he’s been skinny for The Machinist and The Fighter, buff for the Dark Knight trilogy, and quite large for American Hustle. It is downright frightening.
Possibly just as or more interesting from the trailer is Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush—what we see of the performance is uncanny. From the body language to the messy wing eating, it’s difficult to not be excited for another showy performance from the recent Oscar winner. Round that out with Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld and you have a stacked cast.
Of course this being Adam McKay, Vice does appear to have a satirical edge to it. We’ll have to see how this film will depict a number of public figures and politicians that many consider being problematic, but the trailer is making an argument on its compelling cast alone. Dick Cheney is one of the most influential and controversial politicians of our time, and any film about him would be a challenge, but it looks like Christian Bale’s got it.
Buckle up for Oscar season—Vice is coming to theaters Christmas Day 2018.