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. Paramount Studios and Universal Pictures are currently in a bidding war for the rights to the upcoming book Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.
DiCaprio’s production house, Appian Way, has a first-look deal with Paramount and wants the film as a possible starring vehicle for the actor.
Univeral is apparently very interested in Isaacson’s book, as well, turning the rights battle into a seven-figure tour de force.
Isaacson, a former Time magazine editor and CNN CEO, previously wrote the best-selling biography Steve Jobs, which was turned into a successful film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender in the title role.
His 2007 book, Einstein: His Life and Universe, was the basis for the first season of National Geographic Channel’s new series, Genius, which starred Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein.
In writing Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaacson reportedly used Da Vinci’s notebooks to weave together a narrative thread marrying his incredible imagination with his celebrated artistic and scientific works.
The book also reveals Da Vinci to be an easily distracted illegitimate child, who was also left-handed, gay, and a vegetarian to boot.
DiCaprio was supposedly given his birth name because his pregnant mother was admiring a Da Vinci painting at a museum in Italy when he first kicked.
Paramount is hoping to convince DiCaprio to star in The Devil in the White City, an adaptation of another hit book by author Erik Larsen.
The film, about America’s most infamous serial killer, Dr. H.H. Holmes, would reunite DiCaprio with director Martin Scorcese.
DiCaprio and Scorcese previously worked together on The Wolf of Wall Street, The Aviator, Shutter Island, The Departed, and Gangs of New York. Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci will hit book shelves on October 17, 2017.