Everyone is banking on Tom Hardy becoming a big, big star. Harvey Weinstein has already moved “The Wettest County” to the end of the summer, hoping to ride the wave of the actor’s post-“The Dark Knight Rises” fame and Warner Bros. is anxious to keep the actor in house. He’s already set to spend the a good chunk of 2012 filming George Miller‘s long awaited “Fury Road” for the studio, and they are already getting the actor started on another role, one that he won’t tackle until next year.
First rumored over the summer, it now seems the wheels are beginning to turn for Hardy to star in the potential gangland trilogy “Cicero” for other WB fave, director David Yates, who has made the studio a ton of cash with his “Harry Potter” films. Written by Walon Green (”The Wild Bunch,” “Sorcerer,” “The Brink’s Job”), with Yates doing a rewrite, the story focuses on Al Capone’s rise to power, moving from the slums of Brooklyn to the top of the food chain in prohibition-era Chicago, as well as his subsequent fall, and is being eyed to span three films. And catching up with Baz Bamigboye, Hardy reveals he’s already started looking at the classic gangster pictures to get a feel for how he’ll play the character.
“I’ve been working with Warner Bros., watching their gangster films — the ones with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson,” he said, naming “The Petrified Forest,” “The Public Enemy,” “Little Caesar,” and “The Roaring Twenties” among the films he’s been checking out (and if you haven’t seen them, you really should).
“The idea isn’t to remake those films but to get a flavour of them as we explore Capone’s career as a racketeer,” Hardy said adding, “The idea at the moment is of doing a trilogy of films, but nothing is set. Everyone is just talking and exploring.”
Indeed, with WB recently taking a critical at nearly every developing tentpole they have – “Akira,” “Arthur & Lancelot,” “300: Battle of Artemisia” – it’s likely they won’t make any hard decisions until after “The Dark Knight Rises” plays out (and maybe watching how “The Wettest County” does) before determining if Hardy is viable enough to topline his own franchise. And as for Hardy, he’s got plans of his own. After filming “Fury Road,” he’s eager to work with his father, Chips Hardy, on a theater project. But should “Cicero” get the greenlight, the film is aiming to lens in 2013 and carry over into 2014 as well – so it will be a big decision to flip the switch.
As for Yates, he won’t be sitting around waiting for a decision to be made. He recently signed up to direct the drama “Your Voice In My Head” based on the memoir by Emma Forrest, and is gearing up to shoot this summer.
Either way, it seems WB is optimistic this will be a go project, and we certainly hope so. Hardy taking one of the classic gangsters of all time in a trilogy of pictures? Damn, sign us up.