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Irish writer-director Lenny Abrahamson is poised to finally breakthrough in the U.S. thanks to his upcoming comedy Frank. Sure, its title is far from evocative, but that doesn't much matter since the filmmaker behind the Cannes Film Festival fêted drama Garage has scored the ever-mesmerizing Michael Fassbender to play the film's title character.
While Fassbender is reason enough to be anticipating this feature, Frank also boasts Maggie Gyllenhall, and rising stars Domhnall Gleeson of Anna Karenina and Scoot McNairy of Argo. The film is now shooting in New Mexico, but you can get a first look at Gyellenhall, Gleeson and Fassbender below, thanks to Coming Soon (and head over there to see it in high-res):
There are new looks all around in this image. Gleeson, who sported a fantastic ginger beard in Anna Karnina is scruffy and scrawny here, while Gyllenhaal is sporting a short hairdo that's far from flattering. But the biggest transformation is undoubtedly Fassbender, whose draped in ill-fitting clothes and tops off the look with a creepy papier-mache head. It seems a strange move to release a teaser image of Fassbender that purposely hides his devastatingly handsome face, but props to Frank's producers for piquing our interest all the same. I mean, really, what is that head about?
Loosely inspired by the memoir of The Men Who Stares at Goats author and This American Life contributor Jon Ronson, Frank centers on an aspiring musician (Gleeson) who finds himself in over his head when his dream-chasing leads him to join a band with the bizarre Frank (Fassbender) and his frightening sidekick Clara (Gyllenhaal). The real-life Ronson was once a keyboard player for the musician and comedian Chris Sievey, who wore a head similar to that above as part of his Frank Sidebottom schtick. However, Coming Soon notes that the titular character in Frank is a culmination of Sievey and other outsider artists like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.
It's a intriguing place from which to pull a movie plot. Still, let's hope it turns out better than The Men Who Stares at Goats.