Josh Trank got a bum rap. I’m certainly not the only person to hold this opinion but when Trank was essentially blacklisted and lost his potential Star Wars gig, most of the blame went to the director. And while it’s pretty clear that Trank reacted with a hard-to-excuse volatility, it’s frankly impossible to excuse the fact that the seed of the problem was a potent distrust of a creative filmmaker by a studio that focuses on insidiously calculated marketing rather than innovation. If one needed any proof that Trank has always be in the right here, rewatch his Fantastic Four and notice that the movie works extremely well until a pretty clear watermark where the editing and narrative path of the script – two elements of filmmaking that studios obsessively control – collapse into a mess.
That’s precisely why the news this week that Trank will indeed follow through on his plans to make Fonzo, a new take on the story of Al Capone, next month is such exciting news. Trank’s excellent first film, Chronicle, and the early passages of Fantastic Four not only reveal a unique vision that comes through no matter the aesthetic framework but a thematic focus that adds moral and mortal weight to his often breathless action scenes. As such, there’s tremendous potential for Trank to bring new understanding to the Capone character and his mythology, insight that will no doubt be underlined by Tom Hardy‘s performance as Capone in the movie.
Hardy is a major get, both for Trank and the project on the whole, but he’s not the only casting notice that should illicit interest. Along with the start-of-production news, it’s now confirmed that Kyle MacLachlan, Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon, and Kathrine Narducci will also be joining Hardy in Trank’s film, which the director also scripted. MacLachlan is set to play Hardy’s doctor and Dillon will play his best friend, while Cardellini has the role of Capone’s wife, Mae, and Narducci will inhabit the role of one of Capone’s sisters. It’s one hell of a cast but what makes Fonzo so potentially thrilling is how Trank will envision Capone and his world in concert with his performers. It could very well bring him back to the forefront of popular American filmmaking.