Christian Bale transforms to a ruthless Dick Cheney in 'Vice' first trailer


Christian Bale transforms to Dick Cheney in 'Vice'

Christian Bale has gone from the Dark Knight to Dick Cheney

The British actor steps out in what is shaping up to be a powerful portrayal of the polarizing politician in "Vice," which released its first full trailer Wednesday.

The trailer shows a power lunch between Cheney and Bush (Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell). The fried chicken-eating Bush, then the Republican presidential candidate, asks Cheney to be his vice president: "You're my vice."

Cheney hesitates because the job is "mostly symbolic."

"However if we came to a...different understanding," Cheney says, offering to handle the "mundane jobs of overseeing bureaucracy, military, energy and foreign policy." 

Bush gets on board, saying, "I like that."

Hit the power-Cheney montage that follows. (Warning: You might want to avert your eyes during the shirtless, boxer shorts moment as a paunchy Cheney walks through barracks at 1:08 in the trailer).

Oscar-winning writer-director Adam McKay ("The Big Short") sets out to show how "the bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as vice president to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today," according to a release from the filmmakers.

Vice President Dick Cheney in 2004.

The trailer shows Steve Carell as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, showing some nifty office dance moves and then asking Cheney, "Are you even more ruthless than you used to be?" (He has to think about that.)

Amy Adams stars as Lynne Cheney warning her young, ambitious husband, "When you have power, people will always try to take it from you."

McKay worked with Bale on 2015's "The Big Short," which garnered a nod for best picture Bale's convincing portrayal as hedge fund manager Michael Burry earned the actor an Oscar nomination. So the director knew what he was getting with Bale for the role.

Christian Bale as a younger Dick Cheney in "Vice"

"What I wanted to avoid was, I didn’t just want someone to do an impression of Dick Cheney," McKay told Deadline. "What Christian Bale really does is he psychologically breaks someone apart and puts them back together again. I’ve never seen a process like it."

"Vice" is coming to theaters Dec. 21.

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