What I Missed on My Summer Vacation: Part 2 – Tom Hardy Edition

Movie, Poster, Michael Roskam, The Drop, Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace

International Poster for Michael Roskam’s The Drop with Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace

1. The Drop International Trailer, Poster and New Images

The Drop is, without a doubt, on the top of my “must see” list for the remainder of 2014. I probably made that clear when I posted the first trailer. This just ticks too many boxes for me: Tom Hardy, Dennis Lehane, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenarts (working for his Bullhead director, Michaël Roskam), puppies, wise guys… I could do The Muttley right now and I haven’t even seen it. (I still think someone needs to provide a logical explanation as to why the title was changed from Animal Rescue – which was the title of Dennis Lehane’s short story upon which it’s based. Seriously, we can’t complain that our society is collectively losing brain cells like a balloon with a slow leak, and continue to pander to the lowest common denominator. End rant.)

Bob Saginowski (Hardy) finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost.

If you haven’t yet made up your mind about this one, take a look at the international version of the trailer. It’s longer and definitely darker than the domestic version, yet provides a clearer picture of what we can expect.

Certainly it appears that The Drop is classic Lehane, in which the protagonist is attempting to turn his life around even as his past comes back to bite him in the ass. As a Lehane fan, there is much I can deduce about the plot from that statement alone, but I don’t want to peer too closely.
I think that I can say with some confidence that James Gandolfini will be nominated for more posthumous awards (for the final time as this was, unfortunately, his last film), Schoennarts and Roskam will be firmly planted on the American map and Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace are brilliant. We have to wait until September to find out if I’m right or full of something.

Mad Max: Fury Road, movie, photo, Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road

2. Mad Max: Fury Road New Images and Official Synopsis

I’m not going to run down all of the drama surrounding the production of Mad Max: Fury Road. I’ve been talking about it for years and you can read it all here.

Let’s focus on the good news that surfaced last week, namely the new images of Tom Hardy as Max and the first official images (via EW) of Charlize Theron as Furiosa.
The official synopsis of the film gives us some insight into her character:

Mad Max: Fury Road is an apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed, fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Fury Road must be where these two characters and their paths converge.
The rest of the cast includes Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz, Riley Keough and Josh Helman. The movie’s release has actually been moved up (from its Summer 2015 date, which was moved back from its original date…oh who can keep up?) to May 15, 2015 – which indicates some faith in its ability to kick-off the summer blockbuster season – so it’s still early yet for a trailer. I’d bet on some sort of footage, be it a full trailer, just a teaser or a clip, to come out of Comic Con later this month.  I’m keeping my eyes peeled in any case, because I can’t wait.

Lest there be any confusion, this isn’t a Tom Hardy fan blog (any more than it’s a Gerard Butler or Michael Fassbender blog), but it is my blog and so I write about the things (and the people) that interest me. One of the people that has fascinated me for the last (nearly) six years, has been one Edward Thomas Hardy. This isn’t the time to go into his curriculum vitae, as I’ve discussed it many, many times in the past and it can all be found here if you’re interested.
I have written about him so often, in just the past year alone, because Tom Hardy is everywhere lately. He’s achieved that level of fame that means there are camera crews stalking his film sets, but more than that, it seems that rarely a week goes by without the announcement of another film project. If the man makes every movie to which he’s attached at this moment, back to back without a break, the 36 year old Hardy won’t have to sign on for anything else until he’s well into his forties.
Which brings me to the news that just yesterday, Hardy’s reps formally confirmed what we’d heard rumors of about two months ago, that he will reteam with his Inception costar, Leonardo DiCaprio for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. The director wrote the screenplay with Mark L. Smith (Vacancy, The Hole), based on the book by Michael Punke. It’s a thriller set in the 1820s about “a man called Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), a fur trapper, who treks 3,000 miles of uncharted American wilderness to get revenge on the two men who left him for dead following a bear attack”.
Will Poulter (best known in the US for We’re the Millers, won the EE Rising Star Award at this year’s BAFTAs) has already signed on. Filming is set to begin this September, which makes me wonder what Hardy has dropped to make room for this film, although no announcements to that effect have been made. The Revenant has been tentatively scheduled for release sometime in the fall of 2015.

Much more to come on this one, as well as Child 44, also due this year, Legend, currently filming, as well as Rocketman and Kathryn Bigelow’s The True American, start dates to be announced.

Two, Two, Two Geezers in One! Tom Hardy Films Legend

Ronnie Kray, Frances Shea, Reggie Kray, photo, Legend

Ronnie Kray, Frances Shea, Reggie Kray at the 1965 wedding of Frances and Reggie

British actor extraordinaire, Tom Hardy has already played a number of diverse characters including  Robert Dudley to Anne-Marie Duff’s Queen Elizabeth,  Heathcliff to (future fiance) Charlotte Riley‘s Cathy, incarcerated hardman/mad man Charlie Bronson, and of course arch-villain Bane, to name but a few.  He’s already set to add Sir Elton John to that list in the upcoming Rocket Man.  But first, he’ll add not one, but two O.G.’s (original geezers) to his resume.

Filming began this week on writer/director Brian Helgeland‘s Legend in which Hardy plays both Reggie and Ronnie Kray, the sadistic twins who ran a murder and protection racket in London during the 50s and 60’s (that probably gave Whitey Bulger something to aspire to) and palled around with socialites, MPs and entertainers. Their exploits were nearly single-handedly (double handedly?) responsible for the creation of the British tabloid  industry.  (So don’t confuse it with the 1985 Tom Cruise fantasy. There be no unicorns here.)

We got the first images from the set in London via the Daily Mail. Smartly, STUDIO CANAL/Working Title decided to follow that up with  an official image.  Brilliant move.

Tom Hardy, Reggie Kray, Ronnie Kray, Legend, movie, still

photo credit: Greg Williams/STUDIOCANAL

It’s obvious though that the appetite for news of  this film has just barely been whetted, probably all due to the fact that Hardy is one of a triumvirate of current British “IT” Boys (that also includes Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch) and this film’s stunt casting. Not only have the paparazzi been staked out at most of the London shooting locations, but news agencies all over the world have published the photos as if this were real news.

Seen below are Hardy as Reggie Kray filming scenes with bride Emily Browning as his ill-fated first wife, Frances Shea, as well as some shots of Hardy, as twin Ronnie, in which he appears to have prosthetic jowls. (Actually some are Hardy and some are his stand-in. Can you tell the difference?)

The storyline is simple,

Identical twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray terrorize London during the 1950s and 1960s.

but little is known about the actual plot of the movie, although a little more of the cast has been revealed. The cast also features David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Chazz Palminteri and Tara Fitzgerald.

I’m curious who will be/has been cast as the twins’ mother, Violet. The thing about the Krays was, despite their reputations for some truly depraved behavior,  they really did go home every night to the small East End house in which they still lived with mum.  She was played by Billie Whitelaw in the 1990 film, The Krays, in which Spandau Ballet’s Gary and Martin Kemp played Ronnie and Reggie.  Whitelaw’s Violet was very nearly as scary as her sons. Can’t wait to find out not only whom Helgeland has cast, but what delicious lines he’s written for her.

More information will surely follow.  Legend doesn’t have a release date yet. I expect an initial announcement will be made soon.