Reggie and Ronnie Kray were the hardest of British gangsters back in the sixties. While they were feared by many they were also somewhat popular with the stars, having reportedly mixed with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. Being owners of London’s West End nightclub, Esmeralda’s Barn, no doubt played a part in them being fixtures of the celebrity social scene – the gangster thing helped too.
The brothers, who were finally arrested in 1968 thanks to a crack-down campaign led by cop Leonard Read, inflicted pain, fear and bloodshed on London. In 1990 Peter Medak’s film ‘The Krays’ relived the harrowing crimes that the pair committed during their reign of terror, as well as their close relationship with their mother, Violet. In that film the Krays were played by Spandau Ballet brothers, Gary and Martin Kemp, who managed to put their man-band image aside to successfully portray the menacing pair.
Medak’s film currently stands as the only biopic of the Kray brothers but if rumors are to be believed LA Confidential screenwriter, Brian Helgeland will soon rival the 90’s blockbuster with his own film documenting the lives of London’s most notorious gangsters.
But instead of casting boy-band brothers to play the duo, Helgeland has his eyes on English A-Lister, Tom Hardy to play both roles. Yes, both roles. It’s not often that one person takes on two roles, having to act opposite each of the characters as the other, making hugs, high fives and editing that little bit harder.
However it has been done before, hasn’t it. Remember The Parent Trap films? Both the original film and the remake cast just one girl for the dual role of separated twin sisters – Hayley Mills starred in the original while Lindsay Lohan starred in the 1998 adaptation. Not forgetting Eddie Murphy’s performance in The Nutty Professor films as both the super-sized and super-skinny Professor Klump.
While it’s been done before, it will be interesting to see how modern day special effects and Tom Hardy work together to tell the Krays’ story. No stranger to playing a baddy on screen, having stared as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy – as his name coincidentally suggests – is more than able to portray a ‘hard’ man image. This is one film that we are looking forward to seeing!
Words: Hannah Davies