'The Deep Blue Goodbye' has been shelved after Christian Bale suffered a knee injury.

The thriller had been due to begin filming this summer but the star has torn a ligament which means he will be unable to work on such a physically-intensive shoot, meaning work on the movie - which also had Peter Dinklage and Nicola Peltz signed up - has been postponed.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it is now unclear what will happen to the movie - in which Bale was cast as an ex-soldier turned self-proclaimed 'salvage consultant' - as some sources say the project will be scrapped completely, while others believe it is merely delayed.

However, if filming is pushed to a later date, director James Mangold may need to find a new lead as the 41-year-old actor is in such high demand and is already committed to a number of other projects this year.

Fox and producers at Chernin Entertainment and Appian Way have been scouting around for replacement actors, with Brad Pitt one of the first approached, though he was unable to commit to the project.

The film has been in development since the late 1990s, with Oliver Stone and Paul Greengrass previously lined up to take the helm, and Leonardo DiCaprio at one point set to star in the lead role.