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After years of stalling, The Crowded Room is finally moving forward. Leonardo DiCaprio will star in and produce the film about the first man to successfully use multiple personality disorder as a defense during a trial. Although it was recently rumored that DiCaprio was planning on taking a break from acting, the actor has had his eye on this project for almost 20 years—making it too good of a prospect to pass up.
THR reports that DiCaprio’s company Appian Way will produce The Crowded Room, based on the true story of Billy Milligan, whom DiCaprio will portray in the film. Lucky Number Slevin writer Jason Smilovic has been brought on to pen the adapted screenplay, based on the non-fiction book by Daniel Keyes. Smilovic also wrote Todd Phillips’ upcoming film Arms and the Dudes.
Keyes’ book was originally published in 1981 and tells the story of Milligan, who boasted 24 different personalities. Milligan was tried in Ohio in the late ‘70s for robbery and the rape of three women on the Ohio State University campus, but he successfully argued that his crimes were through no fault of his own; instead, Milligan blamed two of his 24 personalities for committing the crimes. Milligan was officially diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, a controversial psychiatric disorder which was renamed dissociative identity disorder, or DID, in 1994. His many personalities included “Adalana, a lesbian taking responsibility for the rapes; Ragen, a Yugoslavian communist who admitted to the robbery; and Arthur, an uptight Englishman.”
DiCaprio has reportedly been interested in playing Milligan on the big screen since 1997. A director has not yet been hired for the project, though James Cameron was previously interested in directing the film.
Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu is currently at the center of the Oscar race with his comedy Birdman, but in between accepting awards and doing the cursory “For Your Consideration” interviews, he’s also busy with something else: shooting his next movie. Iñárritu and Birdman cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki are in the middle of filming the heavily dramatic The Revenant in an obscure region of Calgary, with a fantastic cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio as an American fur trapper in the 1800s who is robbed and left for dead, only to survive and seek vengeance on his attackers. Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and Will Poulter also star.
But you may have noticed that The Revenant has been in production for a very long time, as evidenced by DiCaprio’s ever-scraggly beard. Iñárritu fought hard to get the extra money in the budget to shoot the film in sequence (ie. first scene first, last scene last), which is kind of a rarity given that it takes more time to accommodate. Moreover, we previously learned that Iñárritu and Lubezki were shooting in an area of Calgary that only allowed them to shoot a little bit of the film at a time, and in a new interview with Deadline, Iñárritu elaborated on why The Revenant is taking nine months to shoot:
“We don’t finish until the end of April or May, and we are shooting very small hours. It was planned this way, to be little-by-little jewel moments; that’s the way I designed the production. That was both to create intensity in these moments, as well as the climate conditions. We are shooting in such remote far-away locations that, by the time we arrive and have to return, we have already spent 40% of the day. But those locations are so gorgeous and so powerful, they look like they have never been touched by a human being, and that’s what I needed. The light is very reduced here in winter, and we are not shooting with any electrical lighting, just natural light. And every single scene is so difficult — emotionally, technically. I’ve gotten myself in trouble again, but I’m trying my best.”
I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of Iñárritu’s films (Birdman is fine), but The Revenant has me highly intrigued. And Lubezki working once again with natural light, as he did on The Tree of Life? Fantastic.
The Revenant is scheduled to hit theaters on December 25th, at which time the director could very well find himself back in the awards race.
Here’s the first images from Revenant, which is scheduled to open in December 25th on limited release, and January 8th, 2016 on a wider release.
Here’s the Official Movie Synospsis:
Deep in the uncharted American wilderness, trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is severely injured and left for dead by a traitorous member of his team, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). With sheer will as his only weapon, Glass must navigate a hostile environment, a brutal winter, and warring Native American tribes in relentless quest to survive and exact vengeance on Fitzgerald. Based on a true story, “The Revenant” is directed and co-written by renowned filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman,” “Babel”).
Instead of making the untitled project after shooting ‘The Revenant,’ the actor has removed himself from the biopic altogether
Leonardo DiCaprio will not be tackling the role of Steve Jobs.
The actor, who had been in talks with Sony to tackle the late Apple Computer co-founder for director Danny Boyle, has bowed out to instead shoot The Revenant. But instead of making the untitled Jobs project right after, as had been hoped, DiCaprio has removed himself from the project altogether. Sources say after DiCaprio finishes The Revenant, which began shooting this week, he plans to take a lengthy break from acting.
Though the Jobs project, based on a Walter Isaacson book and adapted by Aaron Sorkin, is one of the most anticipated biopics in recent years, it has endured a few roadblocks since the best seller was first optioned by the studio in 2011, around the time of Jobs’ death.
David Fincher had been in talks to direct, but as The Hollywood Reporter revealed in April, he fell out of the project over compensation and control.
Now with DiCaprio out, the studio is eyeing a number of actors to take on the iconic tech figure, who has been both worshipped and reviled. Christian Bale, who Fincher wanted for the title role, is on Sony’s wish list, as is Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper (though Affleck seems unlikely given that he just signed on for the thriller The Accountant).
Scott Rudin is producing alongside Film 360’s Guymon Casady and Mark Gordon.
The Jobs film would have marked a reteaming of DiCaprio and Boyle, who previously teamed on 2000’s The Beach.
At the Clinton Global Citizen Awards, Eva Longoria also honored the subjects of her upcoming ‘Food Chains’ documentary, who are dedicated to ending the exploitation of farm workers
Leonardo DiCaprio may not have nabbed any of the four Oscars for which he’s been nominated, but his work to protect the environment earned him a prestigious Clinton Global Citizen Award Sunday night.
Serving as the kickoff for the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York, the 8th annual Citizen Awards honored outstanding individuals in civil society, philanthropy, public service and the private sector who exemplify global citizenship through their vision, leadership and impact in addressing global challenges.
DiCaprio, who has focused his philanthropic efforts on protecting and preserving the planet, urged those in attendance at Sunday night’s event to work to address what he called “a real and terrifying crisis.”
“Climate change is compromising the very livability of our planet,” the actor, sporting a long, scraggly beard and long hair pulled back into a bun, said as he accepted the Clinton Global Citizen Award for philanthropy.
After explaining, “less than three percent of all philanthropic giving goes toward protecting and preserving our environment,” a statistic he called “ridiculous,” with even less going towards protecting the world’s oceans, DiCaprio urged the audience of global leaders and philanthropists, “to put environmental issues at the forefront of the human agenda.”
“Together we can find ways to scale up funding and create intelligent partnerships. By protecting our oceans and our wildlands we allow species to recover, local communities to thrive and ultimately maintain a stable climate for all life on earth,” he said.
The actor, who earlier in the day participated in the People’s Climate Change march and is set to open the UN Climate Summit, added, “the world is now at a turning point and climate change is the defining issue of our time…The task before us to protect this planet will require the largest movement in human history. It will have to cross all cultural, religious and political boundaries. But the good news is the solutions are ready and with leaders like the ones in this room who do not shrink in the face of crisis. They can rise, they can inspire and they can contribute. And that truly is the best hope of planet earth.”
DiCaprio was presented his award by World Wildlife Fund CEO Carter Roberts, who said, “Now more than ever nature needs a voice. Leonardo DiCaprio is that voice.”
Roberts praised the actor for using his platform and resources to make a difference and for working to understand the science and situation on the ground, calling the actor an eloquent, inspiring leader.
In addition to DiCaprio, several other Hollywood stars attended the event including presenter Eva Longoria, who honored the subjects of her upcoming documentary Food Chains; host Seth Meyers; music director Randy Jackson; performers Aloe Blacc, Jason Mraz and The Roots; Brian Grazer; Sting and Trudie Styler; and Idris Elba.
President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State (and potential future presidential candidate) Hillary Rodham Clinton and a very pregnant Chelsea Clinton were also there.
Indeed, Chelsea’s pregnancy and the “impending although hopefully not immediate arrival,” as she said, of the elder Clintons’ first grandchild was a recurring topic at Sunday’s event.
Meyers quickly reassured the crowd that if Chelsea went into labor during Sunday night’s event and President Clinton had to leave, “Al Gore is waiting in the wings. Ready to step in for old times’ sake.”
He also joked that the Clintons don’t care if the baby is a boy or a girl, “as long as it’s a swing voter.”
But Meyers began his monologue by poking fun at the event’s venue: the Sheraton Times Square, calling the neighborhood “a great place to have your picture and your wallet taken” and adding to the out-of-town guests, “If you’re not from New York, I’m happy to tell you that the Times Square Sheraton is this city’s finest hotel.”
Leonardo DiCaprio has made climate change one of his core social issues over the past 15 years, and he has no signs of backing down against naysayers. Leo will turn 40 on November 11, but before that day comes, he can add a new title to his laundry list of professional accolades.
The United Nations just named DiCaprio a “Messenger of Peace” for his years of stewardship toward climate change awareness. “I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history — it is a moment for action,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.” DiCaprio is scheduled to speak at the U.N. Climate Summit on September 23.
As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Leo joins past notable entertainers like Edward Norton, Michael Douglas, Charlize Theron, George Clooney, and Stevie Wonder as a recipient of the honor.
Watch a trailer for DiCaprio’s 2007 climate change documentary The 11th Hour below:
New project narrated by Leo, via politico.com:
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is lending his voice and support to a new short film, bringing attention to climate change and calling for federal action over carbon pollution.
“We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense. We must put a price on carbon — now,” DiCaprio says in his narration of “Carbon,” released Wednesday.
“If national governments won’t take action, your community can,” DiCaprio says. “We can move our economy town by town, state by state to renewable energy and a sustainable future.”
DiCaprio, who also produced the eight-minute film along with Tree Media, has been vocal on environmental issues such as climate change. The film, which comes ahead of the U.N. Climate Summit on Sept. 23, calls for an end to carbon pollution by considering options such as carbon trading or carbon taxes. The film points to similar steps taken in countries like Ireland and Finland.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is featured in the film, points to climate legislation that he and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have introduced calling for a carbon tax.
“People should not have the ‘freedom’ to destroy the planet,” Sanders says in the film. “Given the severity of the problem, we’re not moving fast enough. We are looking at a fight to save this planet, and we have got to be bold, we have to be aggressive.”
“Carbon”Director Leila Connors said that Congress needs to act to put a price on carbon, adding that time is limited.
“We cannot afford to delay any longer. Washington — and governments around the world — need to act on all levels to keep carbon in the ground. The science is clear; the longer we wait, the harder and more costly this problem will be to solve,” she said.
Of DiCaprio’s involvement with the project, Connors said it’s a “powerful force.”
“Leonardo is unique in that he has not only an enormous audience, but also an in-depth knowledge of, and passion for, the issue of climate change,“ Connors said. “Any time you can combine that with a willingness to really get involved, it’s a powerful force for good.”
The actor also recently received praise from Secretary of State John Kerry in June for his efforts and support to raise awareness on climate change at a conference the pair attended.
Kerry said DiCaprio is a “terrific example of how an artist, an actor, a person of celebrity can take that celebrity and make it meaningful in the context of things that matter to people’s lives on a day-to-day base, more than being entertained.”
“Carbon” is the first film in a series called Green World Rising that focuses on climate change, with an additional three films set to be released ahead of September’s U.N. Climate Summit in New York City.