Paramount Wins Bidding War for Leonardo da Vinci Biopic Starring Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leo Meet Leo: Paramount, Universal Vie For Walter Isaacson Da Vinci Book For DiCaprio

Veteran actor and Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio is set to take on his namesake in an upcoming film about the life of artist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. If Walter Isaacson has any similarly charming stories about beginning his da Vinci studies in utero, he's kept them to himself, but he does specialize in geniuses: his biography of Steve Jobs was the source material for Danny Boyle's film, and past projects include books about Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and-for the "evil genius" subcategory-Henry Kissinger.

The Oscar victor will portray the painter, widely considered one of the greatest artists of all time, in a new movie based on Walter Isaacson's book about the man. According to the book, he also was a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted and at times heretical. It is said that when he first kicked while his mother was pregnant with him, she was staring at a painting by this Renaissance artist at the Uffizi Gallery.

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DiCaprio and Scorcese previously worked together on The Wolf of Wall Street, The Aviator, Shutter Island, The Departed, and Gangs of NY. Appian and Paramount are separately percolating several projects including an adaptation of the Kayla Olson novel Sandcastle Empire, about an apocalyptic future with a society on the brink of collapse from climate change; a yet-untitled film based on a book proposal by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing about the recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal; and a limited television series based on A. Scott Berg's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Charles Lindbergh.

According to Variety, the film will be titled Leonardo da Vinci and is slated to release on October 17 this year. His last film The Revenant showed him in the role of frontiersman Hugh Glass, which earned him his first best actor Oscar.

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