Woody Harrelson Brings Fire to 'Out of the Furnace'

[caption id="attachment_50918" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Getty Images"]Woody Harrelson[/caption]

Woody Harrelson is going to get to play the bad guy.

The "Hunger Games" mentor is set to trade drunken guidance for seething villainy as he's signed on to play the heavy in the crime drama, "Out of the Furnace," according to Variety.

Woody joins Christian Bale and Casey Affleck in the hardcore tale of Russell and Rodney Baze, two brothers who live in the economically depressed Rust Belt and dream of better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, Rodney is lured into one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast by kingpin Curtis DeGroat (Harrelson).

Billy Bob Thornton was originally attached to the role of DeGroat, but Woody's definitely more than just a consolation prize. Harrelson recently brought a charismatic edge to his villainous turn in "Rampart," a companion performance of sorts to his unforgettable turn as mass murderer and media darling Mickey Knox in Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" (1994).

Woody Harrelson can currently be seen in theaters as the hard-drinking Haymitch Abernathy in "The Hunger Games." He recently appeared in HBO's true-life political drama, "Game Change," and will next be seen in Martin McDonagh's crime comedy, "Seven Psychopaths," and Louis Leterrier's heist thriller, "Now You See Me."

"Out of the Furnace," which also co-stars Zoe Saldana as Bale's love interest, is the highly anticipated follow-up project of "Crazy Heart" director Scott Cooper. Production commences later this month.