Christian Bale has explored several genres in his career in Hollywood. The American Hustle actor has played roles ranging from a psychopathic killer to a superhero. While Bale made his debut in a television film in the 1980s, Anastasia, as a child actor, his breakthrough role came with a lesser-known Steven Spielberg film, Empire of the Sun. The Fighter actor was just 13 years old at the time of his Spielberg film.
A few years later, in his late teens, The Machinist actor ventured into a Disney musical film, Newsies. Fans might have missed this box office disaster, which was one of the lowest-grossing Disney live-action films ever made.
Christian Bale Starred As A Newspaper Hawker In His Failed Disney Project
Christian Bale’s Newsies, released in 1992, was inspired by the real-life events of the New York City Newsboys’ Strike of 1899. The story explores the life of a newsboy, Jack Kelly, who dreams of becoming an artist. Kelly is forced to lead a rebellion after publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises the price of newspapers, at the expense of the newsboys.
While Newsies had an intriguing premise for its time, the film made on a budget of $15 million only managed to recoup $2.8 million. The Disney musical had 12 original songs composed by Alan Menken and penned by Jack Feldman. Menken and Feldman’s songs later featured in the Broadway musical of the same name and went on to win the Tony Award for Best Original Score in 2012.
The film also later gained a significant cult following and people found the teenage Christian Bale to be charming. The fans even started calling themselves the ‘Fansies’. Following the success of the Broadway musical in 2011, Newsies gained renewed attention from film critics. Some praised the efforts of a young Bale in the musical numbers, especially his rendition of the song Santa Fe.
Christian Bale Was Happy about the Broadway Success Of Newsies
The Broadway version, Newsies The Musical, starred Jeremy Jordan in the role played by Christian Bale. The show received eight nominations at the Tony Awards, winning two. The American Psycho actor always defended the original film in interviews and he was happy to see that the premise got the much-deserved recognition with its successful Broadway adaptation. Bale told the EW magazine:
“These things never make any sense. I’m incredibly happy for them. They’re having the success our movie never had.”
However, the Thor: Love and Thunder actor initially hated the idea of starring in a musical. In fact, the Ford v. Ferrari actor revealed that he didn’t realize Newsies was a musical and when he did, he asked Kenny Ortega, the director, whether he could skip the musical numbers. The Amsterdam actor admitted to not being a great singer or dancer, but as fans know by now, Bale is not a quitter either.
Fans can enjoy the young Christian Bale’s performance in Newsies, now available for streaming on Disney+.
Source: Box Office Mojo