Principal photography began Friday in Pennsylvania on "Out of the Furnace," starring Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, the dramatic thriller's producers said.

The cast also includes Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Woody Harrelson and Forest Whitaker.

The film was written and is being directed by Scott Cooper. Most of the shooting will take place in the mill towns of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin, as well as the greater Pittsburgh area.

"The currently titled 'Out of the Furnace' tells the story about fate, circumstance and justice. Russell (played by Bale) and his younger brother Rodney (played by Affleck) live in the economically depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives," a synopsis said.

"But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother is lured into one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast -- a mistake that will almost cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother."