Few actors are as in-demand right now as Michael Fassbender. He has come far since he appeared in HBO’s Band of Brothers eleven years ago – beginning with standout supporting roles in such movies as 300 and Inglourious Basterds, then moving onto acclaimed leading turns in blockbuster fare (X-Men: First Class, Prometheus), artsy period dramas (Jane Eyre, A Dangerous Method) and indie darlings (Hunger, Shame).
Fassbender won’t be slowing down in the near future, either, as he has several gestating projects due to arrive over the next couple years. We can add one more to the growing list, in the form of Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson’s musician comedy, simply titled Frank.
THR says that Fassbender is part of the package for Frank, which Protagonist Pictures (The Deep Blue Sea, Bel Ami) is going to be shopping around to foreign buyers at this week’s Toronto International Film Festival. The deal coincides with the festival premiere of Abrahamson’s drama What Richard Did from screenwriter Malcolm Campbell (an alum of The Bill and the British version of Shameless).
Frank stars Fassbender as the film’s namesake, a “mysterious and enigmatic” rock star whose eccentric band recruits a young aspiring musician, played by Domhnall Gleeson. The latter briefly shared the screen with his father, Brendan Gleeson, in the seventh Harry Potter film; he has a small role in this month’s Dredd 3D, as well as the fast-approaching Anna Karenina adaptation starring Keira Knightley.
Meanwhile, Fassbender recently wrapped a small role in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave; is headlining Ridley Scott’s Cormac McCarthy-scripted thriller The Counselor; returns as Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr in the X-Men sequel, Days of Future Past, which begins shooting next year; is attached to star in Ubisoft’s film treatment of the Assassin’s Creed video game series – and, has reportedly been circling the Natalie Portman western Jane Got a Gun these past few weeks.
Abrahamson has a handful of directorial credits to his name, such as the award-winning dramedy Adam & Paul and some episodes on the TV series Prosperity; here in the States, though, he might as well be a newcomer.
However, Frank features recognizable screenwriters in Jon Ronson – the author of The Men Who Stare at Goats – and Peter Straughan, who adapted Ronson’s Goats book before co-writing last year’s period-drama thrillers The Debt and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (the latter of which snagged Straughan an Oscar nomination). Moreover, having Fassbender as the lead is enough to attract potential distributors – and hopefully (inevitably?) moviegoers who cannot get enough of the actor.
More on Frank as the story develops.