Sources told Deadline that Melling will take on the role of a young Edgar Allan Poe in the murder mystery movie.
The plot revolves around the attempt to solve a series of murders that took place in 1830 at the US Military Academy at West Point.
Bale is expected to take on the role of a veteran detective who investigates the killings, and he is aided by a detail-oriented young cadet who would later become world-famous author Poe.
Cooper – who has worked with Bale on movies ‘Out of the Furnace’ and ‘Hostiles’ – recently said: “Even though Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston and died, delirious, in Baltimore, the majority of his life spent in Virginia, my home state.
“So I grew up in his presence. He bequeathed us the detective genre, and he’s still such a presence in our culture, with every horror, mystery and science fiction writer indebted to Poe.
“This is my attempt at a large-canvas whodunnit, with a serial killer at its centre. I want to make films that push me into a different, maybe uncomfortable space, but I am glad to have Christian go there with me.
“I’ve wanted to make this for over a decade and fortunately for me, Christian has perfectly aged into the lead character. He was far too young when I first thought of making this. Films are meant to happen at the right time. Christian is always in high demand, but to be able to make this with him will be such a joy for me.”