It’s been a while since we’ve heard news on Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables: Capone Rising, but with the master filmmaker still making the press rounds in tireless defense/support of his exceptionally difficult (and I think brilliant) Redacted, it’s hardly a surprise to hear him say that the prequel to his biggest commercial success will be his next project.
In a recent interview with our part-time lovers at the MTV Movies Blog, De Palma confirmed that the film will "likely" happen next, and that Gerard Butler is still set to play Jimmy Malone (the Irish cop role that won Sean Connery a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1988). The film may feel like a step back for De Palma, but he needs a hit, and this project will probably grant him the path of least resistance. Though Nicolas Cage is definitely out as Al Capone, De Palma seems confident that they’ll find someone with a "street animal sexuality" to fill the role. If only Donny Most were thirty years younger.
De Palma also notes that the film will have a lot of "fabulous set pieces in it", which is consistent with what he told me in September 2006:
"There’s an assassination in Tosca that I’ve always wanted to do that I wrote for another script, and I was able to get it into this script. It’s an incredible set piece where they kill [mobster James] Colosimo while he’s watching Tosca, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years. So I’ve got a whole bunch of good ideas. And then we have this whole relationship between the young Sean Connery character and Al Capone with a girl in between them; I came up with this idea of a saloon singer. It’s good."
"Good" is good. Back then, Tony Award-winning playwright (and Casualties of War screenwriter) David Rabe had just come on to rework a draft from the talented duo of David Levien and Brian Koppelman. Yes, it won’t be David Mamet, but Rabe’s no slouch with dialogue either (see Hurlyburly); this could still be a good deal of fun (especially if De Palma gets Ennio Morricone to score his first Hollywood picture since Mission to Mars). Hopefully, we’ll hear more from De Palma when/if I ever get to talk with him about Redacted.