Scheduled for release on Dec. 25, 2013, "American Hustle" is director David O. Russell's much-anticipated follow-up to 2011's award-winning drama "Silver Linings Playbook." The movie is based on the true story of the 1970s and 1980s FBI sting known as Abscam. With a compelling, crime-laced storyline, one of today's hottest directors, and a star-studded cast, "American Hustle" promises to be a top hit this holiday season. Which stars will be lighting up the screen?
Christian Bale takes the lead as Irving Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld is a gifted con artist who is forced into assisting the FBI in its investigation of corrupt politicians. Perhaps best known for his stormy portrayal of Batman in Christopher Nolan's trilogy, Bale has been a cult favorite and a rising star since his turn as sociopathic serial killer Patrick Bateman in 2000's "American Psycho." Most recently, he appeared in "The Dark Knight Rises," the third and final Nolan Batman film. In addition to "American Hustle," he's scheduled to appear in five more movies over the next year. In "Exodus," he plays the legendary Biblical figure Moses.
Every good con artist has a partner in crime, and Rosenfeld's is his duplicitous mistress, Sydney Prosser, played by Amy Adams. Adams has come a long way since her debut in 1999's dark comedy "Drop Dead Gorgeous." The doll-faced actress has played roles in comedies, fantasies, and romances to widespread audience adoration. Her dramatic turn here will be something of a departure for her and should be interesting to see. Most recently, Adams has appeared as Lois Lane in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and as Amy in Spike Jonze's "Her." Next, she'll be reprising the roles of Lois Lane in "Superman vs. Batman" and the naïve princess Giselle in "Enchanted 2."
As FBI agent Richie DiMaso, Bradley Cooper will continue to expand his repertoire. Cooper, who spent years in television before breaking into film, has built his career on performances in hit comedies such as "Wedding Crashers" and "The Hangover." In "American Hustle," he'll again take on a more serious role. His more recent work in serious films such as "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The Place Beyond the Pines" has demonstrated that Cooper has the chops to make it as a serious dramatic actor as well. Cooper also has a busy year ahead, with upcoming performances in "Serena" and an as-yet-untitled Cameron Crowe romantic comedy alongside Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams.
Jennifer Lawrence rejoins Cooper under Russell's direction as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, Irving's impulsive, loud-mouthed wife. Lawrence, who won an Oscar for her work in "Silver Linings Playbook," has enjoyed a spectacular rise to fame over the past few years thanks to appearances in hits such as "The Hunger Games" and "X-Men: First Class." She'll be appearing later this year with Cooper in "Serena." Of course, she'll also be reprising her role as postapocalyptic heroine Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1," and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2" over the next two years.
Jeremy Renner rounds out the main cast of "American Hustle" as Carmine Polito, the seedy, shady mayor of Camden, New Jersey, who appears to be at the center of the scandalous storm. Renner, who made his big-screen debut in the 1995 farce "National Lampoon's Senior Trip," most recently appeared as Orlando the Magician in "The Immigrant." He may be most recognizable these days as Hawkeye in "The Avengers," a role he'll return to in 2015 for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." He's also rumored to be appearing in "Mission: Impossible 5" and will appear in 2014's "Kill the Messenger."
"American Hustle" is clearly hitting the screens with some substantial talent in its main cast. Perhaps even more intriguing, however, is the Hollywood who's who roster that comprises the supporting cast. Look for Robert De Niro, back in his element in this type of gritty hustler film, as Victor Tellegio. Comedian and actor Louis C.K. also makes an appearance as Stoddard Thorsen, a role that's sure to be a departure from his affably awkward persona on FX's series "Louie." Jack Huston ("Outlander"), Elisabeth Röhm ("Heroes"), Erica McDermott ("The Fighter"), and Michael Peña ("The Lincoln Lawyer") round out the supporting cast.
While much about "American Hustle" remains a mystery, the film is certain to attract large audiences and critical attention. It remains to be seen whether Russell will live up to or overtake the expectations he set with "Silver Linings Playbook." With the cast he's assembled, it's hard to imagine he can go wrong.