Josh Trank has revealed the first official image of Tom Hardy as Al Capone from his upcoming biographical film, Fonzo. The gangster memoir marks Trank's third feature-length directorial effort and his first since his now-infamous Fantastic Four movie reboot hit theaters in 2015.
Notorious Prohibition-era gangster and Chicago Outfit co-founder Capone is far from a stranger to the big screen, having been famously portrayed by actors like Robert De Niro in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables and Stephen Graham in HBO's Boardwalk Empire (to name but two well-known examples). He's also the latest real-life crook that Hardy has brought to life in a movie, following his turn as Charles Bronson in Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson and the twins Reginald and Ronald Kray in Brian Hegleland's Legend. Hardy has wanted to play Capone in particular for years now and was even attached to anchor David Yates' since-abandoned Capone film Cicero, before he signed on for Fonzo instead.
According to the film's official synopsis, Fonzo (which Trank also wrote) picks up with Capone at the age of 47. By then, the gangster had spent close to a decade imprisoned - after being infamously charged with and finally convicted for tax evasion - and had begun to show signs of syphilitic dementia. The movie explores how Capone's mind is destroyed by his condition as "his past becomes present as harrowing memories of his violent and brutal origins melt into his waking life". You can get your first proper look at Hardy from the film in the photo below (which Trank posted to his Twitter account).
Much like the previously-released images of Hardy on the Fonzo set, this official photo shows the actor bearing noticeable facial scars and looking more than a little sickly as the ailing Capone in the film. Going by this early peek, it seems Hardy will deliver yet another transformative performance in the movie - as the celebrated actor has now become well-known for doing. Hardy has developed a similar reputation for coming up with unusual and idiosyncratic voices for his roles (see his vocal work as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, for example) and, in an interview with Esquire, the actor revealed that his voice as Capone is modeled after Bugs Bunny's, of all things.
For Trank, Fonzo represents a chance to rebound following the all-around disaster that was Fantastic Four. The filmmaker showed real promise with his debut feature (the found footage super-powered teen drama Chronicle) and, by the sound of it, Fonzo will give him a chance to really flex his storytelling muscles on a film that's clearly aiming to mix up the biopic formula with its narrative design. With Hardy leading a solid cast that includes Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks), Linda Cardellini (Bloodline), and Matt Dillon (Wayward Pines) under his direction, Trank may yet manage to land another solid hit during his third time at bat.
We will let you know when Fonzo gets an official release date.