It’s been a year since we last heard anything about Fonzo, the new Al Capone biopic directed by Josh Trank with Tom Hardy in the title role, but it seems like it’s finally nearing release under a new title.
Filmed in March 2018 on location in New Orleans, the Prohibition-era gangster flick was originally mooted for release late 2019, but that date came and went without any updates.
But now, the film has officially been rated “R” for “strong/bloody violence, pervasive language and some sexuality” by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), signalling an imminent release. A film is only put before a ratings board in anticipation of its release.
— Anton Volkov (@antovolk) April 15, 2020
The rating listing also reveals that the film has been retitled Capone and will be released by Vertical Entertainment in the US. Vertical typically specialises in video on demand and home entertainment releases, often backed up with a limited theatrical launch. No release date has been set yet.
It’s probably not the wide launch director Josh Trank would have been hoping for following the disastrous release of his last film Fantastic Four in 2015.
After making his debut with the fan favourite superhero movie Chronicle in 2012, the filmmaker had a hellish experience on the Marvel movie with reports of problems behind the scenes which reportedly lost him the chance to direct a Star Wars spin-off.
His gritty take on Fantastic Four was panned by critics and ignored by audiences, grossing $168 million worldwide against a production budget of $155 million and losing up to $100 million for 20th Century Fox. Trank publicly disowned the film just prior to its release citing studio interference.
Read more: Fantastic Four producer reflects on flop
Tom Hardy underwent a drastic physical transformation to play mobster Al Capone in his twilight years for Fonzo. Capone, sometimes known as “Scarface” thanks the distinctive facial scars on the left of his face, was imprisoned for tax evasion in 1932, aged 33, after being pursued by the FBI for years.
While in prison, Capone was diagnosed with syphilis and gonorrhoea, which later developed into neurosyphilis, causing a degradation of his mind. According to a physician’s report in 1946, Capone “had the mentality of a 12-year-old child”.
Josh Trank’s Fonzo starring Tom Hardy has been retitled CAPONE and is being released to a computer near you by Vertical Entertainment pic.twitter.com/PZbTaJOGl2
— Jason (@jasonosia) April 15, 2020
Capone looks set to tackle this period of the gangster’s life. Here’s the synopsis: The 47-year old Al Capone, after 10 years in prison, starts suffering from dementia, and comes to be haunted by his violent past.
The film has yet to be rated by the BBFC for a UK release. It also stars Kyle MacLachlan, Linda Cardellini, Jack Lowden, Matt Dillon and Neal Brennan.