Earlier this month, an unexpected development occurred for the Tom Hardy-starring Capone that’s been brewing for, well, I’m not sure how long (at least 2016, probably earlier). As the title indicates, Hardy portrays notorious gangster Al Capone in this picture (previously known as Fonzo), which is a long-gestating effort from writer-director Josh Trank (Chronicle), who kinda fell off the Hollywood radar after the Fantastic Four misfire set him back several steps with audiences and critics. Trank also feuded with 20th Century Fox, and that didn’t help his career prospects, but he apparently took matters into his own hands by hot-dropping the trailer for Capone, which also received a surprise VOD release date (May 12).
Granted, this doesn’t look like high cinema by any stretch, nor was it even designed to woo the Oscar crowd, but the strategy of unleashing this film in an otherwise barren cinematic release season (because pandemic, obviously) might be a winning one. Lo and behold, the Trank-Hardy pairing has gained a prominent endorsement — from Knives Out director Rian Johnson — that could help seal some VOD sales.
“This movie is batshit bonkers in the best possible way,” the helmer of Breaking Bad‘s “Fly” episode tweeted. “[A]nd believe me you’re going to want to see it.”
This movie is batshit bonkers (in the best possible way) and believe me you’re going to want to see it. https://t.co/FnhzEkIY6W
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) April 16, 2020
Sold? Hell yeah. I mean, there are only so many times that people can watch Parasite on Hulu during quarantine. We need some new movies, and the most anticipated blockbusters obviously want to save their juice for theaters much later this year. And it’s a Tom Hardy movie, c’mon! Venom could have never worked without him, and for that matter, Venom probably shouldn’t have worked at all, but those ticket sales don’t lie.
People want more movies, and they want Tom Hardy, and I’m not saying that Capone will be good, but I’ll watch the hell out of it. And I’ll probably do it even sooner now that Rian Johnson endorsed the biographical drama, which will see the title character wrestle with “memories of his violent and brutal origins” following the onset of dementia after a decade behind bars. Is the tortured appearance all an act? We’ll find out while sitting in our living rooms.
Capone (also starring Linda Cardellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Matt Dillon, and Jack Lowden) lands on VOD starting May 12.