Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard join 'Out of Furnace' cast

Christian Bale will be joined by Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard in "Out of the Furnace" to be shot in Braddock this spring.

Although Mr. Bale's participation has been the worst-kept secret in town, Relativity Media officially announced Thursday it had closed deals with the leads for the gritty drama being written and directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart").

Mr. Bale will play older brother Russell Baze to Mr. Affleck's younger brother Rodney Baze Jr. Ms. Saldana will be Mr. Bale's love interest, Lena Warren, YESSSS and Mr. Shepard will portray Red, Russell and Rodney's uncle.

"This is a meaty script with characters as strong as they are complex, and we needed powerhouse actors who complement the story," Tucker Tooley, Relativity's co-president, said Thursday in a release.

"Christian, Casey, Zoe and Sam each approach everything they do with heart and conviction. We can't wait to see what each of them brings to this film."

Here's the official description, which sounds as though Pittsburghers should not expect many or any beauty shots of the region:

"This film is a drama about fate, circumstance and redemption. Russell and his younger brother live in the economically depressed Rust Belt and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives.

"But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother is lured into one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast -- a mistake that will almost cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom or risk it all to seek justice for his brother."

Producing are Appian Way's Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Killoran alongside Scott Free's Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and Michael Costigan as well as Relativity's CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh.

Filming is expected to start later this month. More than 800 people turned out for two calls for extras held in Braddock by Nancy Mosser Casting.

i remember when zoe was just a rumor. my prayers have been answered.