The [Untouchables] prequel I actually would LOVE to see: Capone Rising

Now, there are few prequels made that actually worked. In fact, I could only think of two that I actually like: Rise of the Planet of the Apes and X-Men: First Class. And The Hobbit is poised to join the scarce number of prequels people anticipated most, but generally speaking, few prequels—or sequels, for that matter—are really that necessary. But I’d like to argue that the prequel to The Untouchables is one I wish would get made real soon!

This Collider interview with Brian De Palma is one that sparked me to write this post, though I have mentioned it three years ago here when the film was supposedly in negotiation and they were still casting who would play Capone. Now before I get to that, here’s an excerpt from that interview:

Collider: The Untouchables was a huge favorite of mine growing up and I was always excited the few times your prequel Capone Rising would move forward before fizzling out. Is there any chance of that happening at this point?

De Palma: I don’t know. We’ve had it cast many times, but we’ve just never been able to get everything together at the same time. It’s owned by Paramount so there’s nothing I can do.

Who did you plan to cast in that?

De Palma: At one point I think I had Nicolas Cage playing Capone. Gerard Butler was going to do the Sean Connery part. I think we even had Benicio Del Toro as Capone at one point. We had so many great people attached. It’s one of those legendarily great scripts that actors would die to play, but we’ve just never been able to get it all together with Paramount.

Ok, you probably think that I’m excited for this because of Gerry Butler‘s involvement, and you’d be half right. I’d LOVE to see him with directors like De Palma, but I also LOVE the original film that garnered Sean Connery his only Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. I think Butler would’ve been perfect as a young Irish-American officer Jimmy Malone. Reportedly the script would explore how Malone wasn’t always the good, incorruptible cop. Now, I found the synopsis from Mafia Wiki (boy there’s apparently a wiki for everything!) on Capone Rising:

It tells the story of Al Capone, his arrival in Chicago and his dealings with cop Jimmy Malone and Capone’s subsequent rise to power. Beginning with Capone’s killing of Edwin Macy in New York, Capone moves to Chicago. Jimmy Malone, recently promoted to detective, befriends Capone. He is not bribed by money, but respects him by arresting his henchmen but not Capone as his 9 year old son is present. Capone returns the favor by letting a witness to a murder, a maid named Halina, live. He changes his mind and has her killed on a train. In revenge, Malone soon begins to rally Irish gangsters, culminating in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Eight months ago, I read reports earlier this year that Tom Hardy was cast to play the iconic gangster Capone for David Yates’ Cicero, and I think Hardy could pull it off better than Nic Cage! According to Screenrant, the project isn’t supposed to start until 2013, so it’d be a dream to see Hardy and Butler in a movie together again since Rocknrolla.

I always love seeing villains who started out as friends first, or at least they saw eye-to-eye before they went separate ways. It’ll be a much different relationship obviously, I don’t think we’ll be seeing these two slow-dancing like this again, ahah.

Interestingly enough, the Mafia Wiki reported that Antoine Fuqua was initially going to direct Capone Rising, instead of De Palma. And now Fuqua is directing Butler in the White House thriller Olympus Has Fallen. I sincerely hope Butler would sign on again as he originally did in 2007 if this movie would ever get off the ground!!


Well, what do you think of this prequel folks? Anybody else want to see this movie get made soon?

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49 thoughts on “The [Untouchables] prequel I actually would LOVE to see: Capone Rising

  1. Yeah I remember reading about this project but I wasn’t as excited to see it as you. Probably because De Palma hasn’t done anything good in a long long time and so I just don’t trust him anymore. The cast sounds good and the apparently “great” script peaked my interest. I assume the project never took off is because A) De Palma hasn’t done anything good for a while and B) This genre is not that profitable at the box office. Heck even David Fincher couldn’t even get the spin off version of The Untouchables off the ground.

    • Well just because he hasn’t done anything good in a while doesn’t mean he’d automatically butcher this prequel, after all the original was great. Interesting that the gangster movie is not profitable considering how much people love movies like The Godfather.

      • Oh no I’m not saying that De Palma can’t make good movies again, it’s just his track record the last few years have been pretty brutal. I think I blame Mission: Impossible for his down fall, he hasn’t done a descent picture since that movie. De Palma used to be one of my favorite directors, I think he’s lost his mojo like Coppola.

        Well the Godfather films were a long time ago and as you know in today’s movie market, if it’s not reboot, prequel/sequel or comic book based, filmmakers are having a hard time getting their projects off the ground. I think the last successful period gangster film was The Untouchables. Too bad Gangster Squad has to be delayed because of the shooting in Colorado; I like to see how that film will perform at the box office.

        • “Lost his mojo… like Coppola”… exactly what I was thinking Ted. The thing about De Palma is a lot of his early success was due to seriously aping his idol Hitchcock. Obsession, Sisters, Dressed To Kill, Body Double, etc. I was looking at his filmography and the only great non-Hitchcockian work he’s done IMHO is Carrie, Scarface and The Untouchables and the writers on those were Stephen King, Oliver Stone and David Mamet respectively. Mission: Impossible is the only decent thing in there since ’87. BTW I didn’t care for Carlito’s Way. Sean Penn’s hair… the horror. LOL.

          Ted I think the gangster movie is still profitable. Starting with Heat in ’95 to Guy Richie’s movies to mob comedies like Get Shorty, My Cousin Vinny, and Analyze This to all the way to The Departed, Public Enemies and TV’s The Sporano’s.. With the high profile Gangster Squad coming up I think gangster films are still alive, well and making money even if in smaller supply today.

          I will say this, the newer (’50’s-’80’s) period films like Goodfellas, Casino, Donnie Brasco ($124 mil) and American Gangster ($265 mil) and have done very well. About the only older (’40’s and earlier) period films l can come up with since ’87 that were hits were Road To Perdition ($181 mil), Public Enemies ($214 mil) and TV’s Boardwalk Empire. So you’re pretty much on the mark there Ted if you were talking about the earlier period gangster films.

          I don’t know Ruth I guess it’s Paramount’s money so hey, give it a shot on The Untouchables prequel. I just think it might be better served by a different director at this point. Unfortunately De Palma goes back to his Hitchcockian roots with little critical success in his latest film Passion with Rapace and McAdams? The reviews have described it as a “campy, heavy-handed, unintentionally hilarious romp that’s miscast with a bombastic score.” Yikes!

          • Yeah, De Palma has really gone down hill the last few years or so. You didn’t like Carlito’s Way huh? I love that movie, yes I agree that Sean Penn’s hair was ridiculous but I thought the film was pretty great.

            I guess I may have to take back that comment about the genre not being that profitable, totally forgot about Road to Perdition and Public Enemies; those two films were modest hits.

            Passion just look so cheesy and silly to me, it looks like a high budget Skinemax soft porn to me. LOL.

            • NOT interested in Passion either, but that kind of subject matter rarely piques my interest. I’m quite surprised of McAdams’ involvement but I suppose she might try to shed her reputation of being the sweet girlfriend type.

            • It’s funny you should say that about Passion. One of the reviewers said “It feels like I was watching Zalman King’s The Red Shoe Diaries when the music comes up”.

              • Ahahaha, wow that’s not a flattering review at all. I think I saw one of the Red Shoe Diaries movies and also Two Moon Junction, definitely not quality movies, ahah.

                • Yeah I gotta grudgingly admit I saw some of Two Moon Junction just for Sherilynn Fenn. Big Twin Peaks fan back in the day. I thought she looked uniquely stunning kind of like a 40’s hollywood starlet. Here’s a video link from last year from a Twin Peaks panel. Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer) tells a great story about Lara Flynn Boyle. Watch Sherilynn’s reaction. LOL. She’s blonde now. It’s a little shaky and hard to hear but worth it.

                  http://vimeo.com/27421330

  2. There’s kind of a Capone prequel on HBO now- Boardwalk Empire- and you don’t have to deal with DePalma to watch it.

    (sorry… very much not a fan of DePalma)

    • I didn’t know there’s Capone character in Boardwalk Empire. I actually just listened to an old interview w/ Michael Shannon talking about his role in it. So are you not a fan of The Untouchables??

      • I do like The Untouchables, although a lot of that is because it’s one of the first mob movies I ever saw. And… let’s face it, I love mob movies of any stripe. I just struggle with DePalma and I do a bad job of hiding it.

        The guy who played Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies (Stephen Graham) plays Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire. He’s only one character among many classic mob history names, but he’s a great character on the show.

        Boardwalk also has Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Arnold Rothstein, Johnny Torrio, and Benjamin Siegel for the mob history fans.

  3. I would love to see a movie about the Rise of Capone (and I too have also always loved The Untouchables) but……no disrespect to Gerard Butler, none at all, because it’s not HIM, it’s the ROLE. I just don’t think I would want anyone trying to slip into the shoes of Jimmy Malone. That’s Connery and Connery alone. I personally think it should stay that way.

    • I hear ya Nick, it is such an iconic performance. But at the same time, it’s a younger version of him, so no matter what I don’t think Connery himself could ever step into that role again if they’re going to tell the early story of Malone + Capone.

    • You know Ruth I was thinking back to what made The Untouchables great. Besides the pitch perfect casting of Costner, De Niro and Connery the supporting roles were brilliantly cast. Italian hothead and crack shot Andy Garcia in his breakout role, earnest FBI accountant Charles Martin Smith, the loving wife Patricia Clarkson, perennial creep and bad guy Billy Drago and even the seedy accountant Brad Sullivan aka ‘Mo’ from Slapshot. De Palma was in top form shooting a Mamet script with Morricone’s score on top of that. That makes for some pretty lofty filmmaking. That’s a lot to live up to for the prequel.

      • Amen to all that, Dave! I didn’t mention Mamet but surely I’d LOVE for the prequel to be written by him as well, I think the script was the key to its success more than De Palma’s direction.

    • Wow, I didn’t realize how much people dislike De Palma, I guess I haven’t seen his latest movies in a while. Black Dahlia was ok but a far cry from the excellent L.A. Confidential. Maybe I’m too hopeful about him, ahah.

  4. This could be an interesting movie but not with De Palma who seems to have lost it since The Untouchables. I do like antagonists who have or had a close relationship with the film’s protagonist but I just have a hard time seeing Gerard Butler in anything right now, I guess it’s been a really long time since he did anything decent :(

    • Your comment about GB pains me as I think he was more than decent in his last two roles. But ah well, he’s got some interesting projects in the pipeline, hopefully one of them impress you Castor :D

  5. Well, of course, Tom Hardy and Gerard Butler. With De Palma, I don’t know. But throw in Fuqua — as in, director of one of my all-time fave Chow Yun Fat movies THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS — and it then becomes, How do we get this made? ;)

    • Yeah I think Fuqua would do well, who knows now that Gerry is doing a movie with him they might revisit this project? Oh I haven’t see Replacement Killers! I have to give that a chance, somehow the critics trashed it though, but heh, what do they know! :D

  6. Very interesting post there Ruth. I had heard nothing of this but it sounds great. I love The Untouchables and this project sounds as if it could do that film justice. Butler and Hardy? Great choices.

    • Well GB apparently had signed on w/ De Palma before but Hardy is just wishful thinking on my part since he’s gonna play Capone in another movie. I do hope this would get made… and they did the original justice indeed!

  7. I haven’t seen The Untouchables, but it’s in my queue. But if both Tom Hardy and Gerard Butler are in it, I give the prequel a thumbs up ‘-D

    • Since you like Connery, I think you’ll appreciate The Untouchables. I doubt the prequel would get off the ground, even if it did, it wouldn’t have my dream cast in it :(

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