How Christian Bale Almost Killed 'Out of the Furnace'

If Bale hadn't cleared his schedule, the movie may have never happened.

Christian Bale's crime thriller "Out of the Furnace" hits theaters on December 6, but the actor's busy schedule almost derailed the project before it even started.

"I wrote it with Christian in mind," director Scott Cooper told MTV News. "That can be a mistake and it's risky."

Risky business, indeed. The "Crazy Heart" writer-director, who also penned the aforementioned drama specifically for Jeff Bridges (who would go on to win an Oscar for his role), was prepared to abandon his latest script when Bale said his schedule wouldn't allow him to participate. To hear Bale tell it, the actor fully expected to see the project released with another star in its lead role.

"They all say to you, 'You're the only person I want to make [this movie] with,' " Christian Bale said. "And then you find out they offered it to four people before you."

After some time, when Bale finished up his prior obligations, he placed a call to Cooper.

"I said, 'How's it going?' Assuming he cast someone else," Bale said. "He said, 'No, I'm not doing it. I said I wasn't going to make it if I didn't make it with you.' I went, 'Holy crap! I've never heard that before.' "

The experience could lead to future collaborations, as Cooper believes he will make "numerous films" alongside Bale.

"He exceeded my expectations in every way," Cooper said of his star. "He's not only one of the best actors working in film today, but he's also one of the most thoughtful and he's extraordinarily intelligent, and together, I think we'll make numerous films."