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Bradley Cooper will reportedly star in and produce a WWI drama

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(Read caption) Bradley Cooper may star in a WWI drama titled 'Dark Invasion.'

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Ever since The Hangover became one of the biggest hits of 2009, Bradley Cooper has remained just on the outskirts of becoming a bankable leading man. Supporting turns in ensemble comedies like He’s Just Not That into You and Valentine’s Day in turn led to leads in films like Limitless and The Words.

Cooper’s Academy Award nomination for Silver Linings Playbook, however, could be just the career boost the actor needs to establish himself as a genuine performer and not simply People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2011. To that end, Cooper has just joined a project which aims to demonstrate his willingness to take on more challenging material.

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According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Dark Invasion, an upcoming book by Howard Blum, for Cooper to star in and produce. The non-fiction book chronicles a series of 1915 attacks by Germany designed to prevent the U.S. from assisting the Allies during World War I. Cooper would play Tom Tunney, the NYPD captain who must take down the German spies responsible. The book claims that Tunney was considered to be the CIA’s first head of homeland security.The true-to-life tale – which sounds like it would hue close in tone to something like Zero Dark Thirty – would prove a change of pace from Cooper’s usual fare. However, this is precisely why this project is such a smart move. Cooper has previously tried to take on edgier roles, but his involvement in both The Crow remake and Alex Proyas’ now-defunct Paradise Lost adaptation failed to pan out.

Thus far, Cooper is largely known for his comedic chops, but taking on a project like Dark Invasion – as well as his upcoming role in period drama Serena (alongside Silver Linings Playbook co-star Jennifer Lawrence) – could go a long way to help audiences accept him as a more well-rounded screen presence.

Do you think Cooper is right for this kind of role? Or should he stick to comedies, for the most part? Let us know in the comments.

Robert Yaniz Jr. blogs at Screen Rant.

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