Michael Fassbender has already proven himself one of the most versatile actors currently working. In films as varied as Hunger (2008), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Jane Eyre (2011) and Shame (2011), he has exhibited an astounding range. Even so, the premise behind the off-kilter Frank, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, shows an altogether different side of the German-born, Irish-bred actor. In it, he plays the title role of an eccentric musician who adorns an over-sized paper-mached fake head. It’s a marked change of pace from the 12 Years a Slave Oscar nominee, and the film that surrounds it appears just as nutty as the first trailer for Frank debuts.
A fictional story, very loosely based on the late comedian Chris Sievey’s comedy character Frank Sidebottom, the film stars Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Anna Karenina) as Jon, a wannable musician who joins forces with an eccentric pop band as they go on the road en route to South by Southwest. Maggie Gyllenhaal (White House Down) and Scott McNairy (Non-Stop) co-star. Frank was directed by Lenny Abrahamson (What Richard Did) and written by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan (Oscar nominated scribe of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.) The reviews out of Sundance were generally strong with Variety’s Peter Debruge writing, “A faceless Michael Fassbender stars in this weird and wonderful musical comedy from director Lenny Abrahamson” and Film.com’s William Goss calling the film, “Endearing enough to plaster a smile on any face hiding beneath its own ever-grinning facade.”
We reported following the films premiere at Sundance, that Magnolia Pictures picked up U.S. distribution to the title; the film is set to open in the U.K. in May, but so far no U.S. release date has been announced.