In 2015, Josh Trank released Fantastic Four, a superhero reboot which barely made waves at the box office.
Rumours swirled about tensions on the set and competing creative visions. In short, it was a disaster of epic proportions.
Trank made matters worse when he tweeted that the studio had changed “his” film. That he had had a “fantastic version” a year prior.
“It would’ve recieved [sic] great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though,” he wrote.
Following Fantastic Four’s release, the once red-hot director found himself out of money, out of work and “chain-smoking” in his backyard wondering what on earth he was going to do next. All movie offers had dried up and he was even fired from the Star Wars spin-off movie.
“My life was upended. I’d gone from being in a place where I was extremely successful professionally,” Trank told Variety during a recent interview.
“While I was sitting out there with a few months of just no activity and just being immobile and doing a lot of therapy, this seed of an idea popped into my head based on all of my own reading about Al Capone from when I was a kid.”
Now, the 36-year-old director has helmed a new film, Capone, starring an almost unrecognisable Tom Hardy (Peaky Blinders) as Al Capone, America’s most notorious gangster.
The crime biopic explores the later years his life, where those around him are unsure if he has dementia or if it’s all just an act.
The synopsis tells the story of a ruthless businessman and bootlegger who ruled Chicago with an iron fist, Alfonse Capone was the most infamous and feared gangster of American lore. At the age of 47, following nearly a decade of imprisonment, dementia rots Alfonse’s mind and his past becomes present as harrowing memories of his violent and brutal origins melt into his waking life.
“He was just in his own backyard in Palm Island smoking cigars and not really interacting with other people. He was so far away from being the reigning king of Chicago and one of the most powerful and feared men in the world. In my head, I just wondered what would it have been like for Al Capone to end his life being so far removed from the Al Capone that he got to be for a while.”
Trank admits he identified with the famous gang leader, but not because he was a “gangster or bootlegger”.
“I identified with was being a public figure and having stories spun about you in a fashion that was sort of out of your control,” he told the outlet, which led him to create the script.
Capone was meant to be released in cinemas, however, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, will now be released on on-demand.
While disappointed, the director turned it into optimism.
“There’s a good chance the world will look totally different when this is over,” he said during the interview.
“The fact that I’m lucky enough to have this movie released in a wide way so people can see it is great. I’m happy with that, and I’m happy to give people something new to watch.”
The film also stars Kyle MacLachlan, Linda Cardellini, Jack Lowden, Matt Dillon and Neal Brennan.
Capone is now available on iTunes and Apple TV.
WATCH: The Official Trailer for Capone.