Bale and Adams starred in Russell's semi-comeback movie The Fighter, while Cooper starred in last year's Silver Linings Playbook. Other players from the latter film also partaking in American Hustle are Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. Russell newbies joining this already formidable ensemble include Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Michael Pena, and Alessandro Nivola.
"Everybody gets to do something we've never seen before," Russell tells USA Today. "That's exciting to me."
The film follows ABSCAM, an FBI investigation in Long Island that started out with stolen goods and ended in the conviction of a US senator, several congressmen, and politicans on a state and local level.
While American Hustle plays somewhat fast and loose with the real-life story, it maintains the 1978-1980 setting. "That era was very much like our era now," Russell explains. "The economy was not in a good place and people had to struggle to figure out how to reinvent themselves."
Bale stars as Irving Rosenfeld, a fine art conman from the Bronx who is enlisted in the corruption investigation by Cooper as "unhinged" FBI agent Richie DiMaso. Adams is Sydney, Irving's British lover also forced to partake in shady dealings between politicians and the mafia. Lawrence, meanwhile, plays Irving's wife, a volatile character who jeopardizes the whole charade.
Finally, Renner plays Carmine Polito, a New Jersey mayor attempting to keep his city together during tough times.
American Hustle opens in limited release on December 13th, then expands wide on December 25th.
Russell made Three Kings, so we'll be there.