Tom Hardy and director Josh Trank delivered a big surprise last week with the announcement their gangster movie “Fonzo” was now titled “Capone” and would be getting a VOD release in May. The Al Capone biographical drama was filmed in 2018, leading some in the industry to wonder if the title might pop up at last year’s TIFF or this year’s Sundance. “Capone” skipped the festivals and found a distribution home with Vertical Entertainment and Redbox Entertainment instead. Now comes a rave first reaction to the movie from none other than Rian Johnson, who shared with his 1 million Twitter followers, “This movie is batshit bonkers in the best possible way and believe me you’re going to want to see it.”
“Capone” picks up with the infamous gangster 10 years into his prison sentence as he’s suffering dementia and looks back at pivotal moments from his life in crime. Hardy underwent an extreme transformation to play Al Capone thanks to makeup and prosthetic work. The Oscar nominee is joined in the ensemble by Linda Cardellini, Jack Lowden, Noel Fisher, Kyle MacLachlan, and Matt Dillon. Trank wrote and directed the project, his first since “Fantastic Four” nearly ended his career. To get a sign of approval from Rian Johnson ahead of release is quite a boost for Trank, whose reputation was damaged after “Fantastic Four” bombed at the box office and allegations spread that he acted nonprofessionally on set.
Both Johnson and Trank are tied together through the “Star Wars” franchise. Johnson directed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and has been hired by Disney and Lucasfilm to develop a new original trilogy set within the universe. Trank, meanwhile, was attached to direct a “Star Wars” project before the “Fantastic Four” debacle but ended up parting ways with Lucasfilm. The director said at the time leaving “Star Wars” was “a personal decision,” but his split coincided with the negative press he was getting for his behavior on “Fantastic Four.”
Johnson often takes to social media to champion films he loves. One of his most recent recommendations that is now available to watch is “Selah and the Spades,” now streaming on Amazon Prime. “If you’re hunting for something off the beaten path to watch tonight, I really enjoyed it,” Johnson wrote. “The first film from Tayarisha Poe. She has a unique and confident style and I can’t wait to see what she does next.”
Vertical Entertainment and Redbox Entertainment are set to release “Capone” on VOD May 12. Trank has said he hopes the movie can get a theatrical push at a later date.
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
Pssssst – if you’re hunting for something off the beaten path to watch tonight, I really enjoyed Selah & The Spades, the first film from @tayarisha. She has a unique and confident style and I can’t wait to see what she does next. 👍🏻👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/HfIjQfTd9F
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) April 17, 2020