Leonardo DiCaprio just celebrated his forty-third birthday and it seems it was only yesterday when we watched him freeze to death in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in Titanic (1997), which was the film that catapulted him to superstardom. It has been twenty years since then and we can now consider him a veteran and one of the most talented actors of our time. DiCaprio, who once made teenagers sigh because of his boyish face and his histrionic talents were discounted by his looks, has grown into an experienced leading man that chooses his films carefully, giving us many diverse and memorable performances over the years; but it wasn’t until last year that he won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass in González Iñárritu’s biopic The Revenant (2015).
Although DiCaprio is of Italian and German descent, he has never played an Italian character… until now. It was reported by Variety that DiCaprio will portray the one and only Leonardo da Vinci, after Paramount Pictures beat out Universal in a bidding for the biopic rights. ICM Partners brokered the deal for Walter Isaacson and his book, Leonardo da Vinci before its release.
DiCaprio will also produce the film under his Appian Way banner alongside president of production Jennifer Davisson. The desire for Dicaprio to star and produce this film may not be just a coincidence as there is a fun story behind it: DiCaprio has said in interviews that his father told him that his parents took a trip to Italy while her mom was pregnant and they were looking at a da Vinci painting when unborn DiCaprio started kicking wildly inside his mother’s womb and “my father, being the eccentric Italian that he is said “his name will be Leonardo””, said Dicaprio in one of these interviews.
It seems that the paring of DiCaprio and Isaacson in this project could be a match made in heaven. DiCaprio has offered some of his best and most unforgettable performances in biopics; as mentioned before, he won an Oscar for The Revenant, but he was also nominated for two other real-life characters: one in The Aviator in 2005 for portraying pilot, filmmaker, business magnate and philanthropist Howard Hughes; and also for The Wolf of Wall Street in 2013 for playing the peculiar American author and former stockbroker Jordan Belfort. On the other hand, Isaacson has a lot to bring to the table. He is a renown New York Times bestselling author who has written many successful biographies, which some of them have been taken to the big and small screens; like the one on Steve Jobs that was adapted into a film in 2005 with the same name and directed by Danny Boyle which was nominated for two Academy Awards; and one on Albert
Einstein that although the biography was published ten years ago, it was recently adapted into the TV series Genius by National Geographic.
Besides being a strong and committed environmentalist and one of the biggest stars in the world, Leonardo DiCaprio is an immensely talented and respected actor who has earned his place in Hollywood and in film history, defying conventions about the roles he accepts to play, which makes this news about him portraying the polymath Italian renaissance man even more exciting.