Tom Hardy has amassed a fair amount of roughian roles throughout his career, including twin gangsters in Legend and a stint on Peaky Blinders. But now, the actor will play the most famous American gangster of all time: Al Capone.
Hardy will portray the infamous crime lord in the film Fonzo, written and directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle). The film is currently in pre-production with Russell Ackerman, John Schoenfelder, and Lawrence Bender on board to produce.
BLOOM announced the casting on Saturday as the company plans to commence international sales at the American Film Market.
A press release for Fonzo describes Capone as “a ruthless businessman and bootlegger who ruled Chicago with an iron fist” and “the most infamous and feared gangster of American lore.” The film will catch up with him at the age of 47 after nearly a decade in prison: “dementia rots Alfonse’s mind and his past becomes present as harrowing memories of his violent and brutal origins melt into his waking life.”
Hardy once had plans to portray Capone in a film called Cicero, to be directed by David Yates of the Harry Potter franchise. Even though that project never came to fruition, he had told The Daily Mail in 2012, “I’ve been working with Warner Bros., watching their gangster films — the ones with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson…It’s interesting to get them, and a bit of Capone, into the bloodstream. You look at pugnacious James Cagney in The Public Enemy and see how this guy rises up to become a kingpin in Chicago.”
Fonzo marks Trank’s first film project since the Fantastic Four fiasco. The filmmaker had a breakthrough moment in 2012 with Chronicle, a dark twist on the superhero film genre. He was soon enlisted to write and direct Fox’s reboot of Fantastic Four, but his image was tainted after highly publicized creative and collaborative disagreements.
After critics lambasted the film, Trank tweeted and then deleted in August of 2015, “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.” Trank was also hired to helm one of the Star Wars anthology films, but he dropped out of the project a few months before various reports detailed the behind-the-scenes turmoil on Fantastic Four.
“Fonzo brings together the myth and lore of notorious American Gangster Al Capone, with the undeniable talent of Tom Hardy and Josh Trank,” BLOOM’s Alex Walton said in a statement. “We are thrilled to bring this film to buyers at the AFM. ”