Josh Trank has had a pretty rough career. After finding initial success with the indie thriller Chronicle, the filmmaker's next major venture, 2015's Fantastic Four, was ripped apart by critics and audiences. After a long break, Trank returned to films with his next offering, Capone featuring Tom Hardy as the legendary gangster. Once again, many reviews were less-than-kind to the movie. But Trank is glad his latest work is eliciting strong reactions, both negative and positive.
"Before we started interviews this morning, I had a good half hour to see the first wave of reviews, and I'm actually very happy with the outcome. At this moment, it looks like it's split down the middle, and the things that people seem to love about the movie are the same exact things that other people hate about the movie. That's perfectly fine because everything in this movie is up front and center for you to see."
"Nothing is being hidden. It's right there. There are certainly a lot of cinematic devices and ideas that play into the pacing and the reveals of certain characters that are intentionally there to lead you to believe that some things are real and some aren't, which turn out to be kind of different by the end of the movie. But I'm glad that what people are reacting to are the most extreme elements of the movie. It's getting a reaction. If you hate this movie, that's perfectly fine because you're reacting to something that's pretty real."
Capone tells the story of Al Capone in his last days, as he deals with the effects of syphilis and dementia on his aging mind. Amidst scenes of Capone hidden away from public view in his house in Florida, the man who was once the most feared gangster in America looks back on his glory days and dreams of what once was.
The film pulls no punches in showing the less savory parts of Capone's final days, and Hardy is fully committed to those parts. We see Capone shooting an alligator with a shotgun, smoking carrots in an effort to kick his cigar addiction, and going on a Tommy gun rampage while wearing a bathrobe and an adult diaper. Most infamously, the movie shows Capone soiling his pants not just once but twice.
It was these scenes in particular that critics had a problem with. But Josh Trank stands by his decision to include those parts of the script in the final movie and states that his friends in the filmmaking community that he showed the movie to, particularly Rian Johnson and Joe Carnahan, were very supportive of that decision.
"Everybody [from Rian Johnson to Joe Carnahan] was like, 'There are areas where you could be weirder. If you've already gone this far to make a movie this weird and this unexpected, own it. Own your shit.' No pun intended."
Trank appears to be far more receptive to bad reviews for Capone than he had been for Fantastic Four, which had seen him go on frequent twitter rants explaining why the film's poor reception was not his fault. As a filmmaker who likes to make movies that are off the beaten track, Trank seems to have finally found that crucial combination of thick skin and even temper that one needs for a career in Hollywood. This news originated at The Hollywood Reporter.