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Jean Reno and James Cromwell join Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac in The Promise

on September 30, 2015, 4:42pm

Variety reports that seasoned acting vets Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional) and James Cromwell (The Green Mile, Spider-Man 3) have both joined the new period romance The Promise.

The film, currently shooting in Spain, stars Christian Bale as an American journalist stationed in Paris in 1922 who gets involved in a love triangle with a French sophisticate named Ana, played by Charlotte Le Bon (The Walk) and a medical student, played by Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Show Me a Hero). While sparks fly between the three, the Ottoman Empire crumbles around them, giving the film an immense amount of additional stakes. After all, the Ottoman Empire reigned for over 600 years; its collapse was a pretty big deal. I imagine trying to be romantic with all that massive political upheaval going on around you must’ve been pretty difficult.

Historical romance movies can occasionally come across as standard love stories shoehorned into fantastic set pieces and costumes thanks to an inflated budget. But then there are those historical romances with real context that tell complex and emotionally grounded stories with engaging backdrops like Reds or Atonement. With the kind of cast it’s assembling and the story to be told, The Promise may soon be joining the latter group.

As new additions to the stellar cast, Reno will be playing a French admiral, while Cromwell will be playing an American ambassador. Directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), The Promise is due out sometime in 2016.