Tom Hardy just loves playing a criminal doesn’t he? From the Krays in Legend (2015) to Britain’s most notorious prisoner in Bronson (2008), it seems Hardy truly feels at home when embodying some of the most famous criminals in recent history. This time, he’s gone for arguably the most famous gangster of all time, the legendary Al Capone. Capone is, of course, somebody we’ve seen portrayed in many films before, most notably by Robert De Niro in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, but this latest iteration of him takes aim at a different stage of Capone’s life.
Changing its title from Fonzo to simply Capone, this film explores Capone’s life after his criminal career is over, as the 47-year-old struggles with dementia and is haunted by his violent past. With Tom Hardy in the lead role, this was always going to be an enticing prospect. Despite some questionable prosthetics, the utterly crazy nature of the trailer suggests this film is going to be much more than a run-of-the-mill biopic. Its string-heavy score, dedication to production design and cinematography by Peter Fleming, a David Lynch-regular, is definitely being flexed in this trailer and the generally manic vibe of it hints that this film could actually be a lot of fun. Hardy rarely goes wrong with his performances and it’s great to see him lining up alongside a stacked cast that features the likes of Kyle McLachlan, Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon and Jack Lowden, all of whom will surely elevate the film.
Interestingly, this film is from writer/director Josh Trank, who looks to try and fulfil the potential he showed with Chronicle (2012) after the disastrous Fantastic Four (2015), which nearly derailed his career thanks to studio interference. This is Trank’s first film since Fantastic Four and the trailer certainly offers a lot to digest, though it at least looks as if Trank is having much more fun with it than his last outing. Trank himself has said there has been no studio interference in this film, plus an endorsement from the brilliant Rian Johnson has certainly raised the excitement levels.
Of course with cinemas still closed, Capone is set to be released on-demand on the 12th of May, which would often indicate that this film may not be an awards-worthy contender. With a planned theatrical run in September however, this could prove to be a surprise hit. We’ll have to wait and see how Capone is received but as of now there’s certainly some palpable excitement for it.
Words by Elliott Jones