Christian Bale and Sean Penn are both circling the war project The Last Photograph for Warner Bros. and director Niels Arden Oplev.

We first reported on this project back in March 2009, when Mongol director Sergey Bodrov was attached to the project. Now Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the original Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is on board to direct.

Kurt Johnstad (300) wrote the screenplay based off an original idea by Zack Snyder. Christian Bale is looking to play a war correspondent who witnesses a brutal attack on American soldiers in Afghanistan, and is the only survivor. Sean Penn will portray an ex-soldier who returns to Afghanistan to find the kidnapped family member, who teams up with the war journalist to identify the captors.

The project was originally set up at Warner Bros., although it will likely move to Dark Castle with producers Joel Silver and Andrew Rona. Warner Bros. will still distribute The Last Photograph, with Dark Castle financing the movie.

Production is being eyed for a 2012 start.