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Leonardo DiCaprio In Final Talks To Star In Cult Leader Jim Jones Movie


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Leonardo DiCaprio is in final talks to star in and produce a feature biopic about infamous cult leader Jim Jones from writer Scott Rosenberg.


Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star as cult leader Jim Jones in a new biopic about the infamous Jonestown massacre leader. Jones was an eccentric personality in the '70s who founded the Peoples Temple, a fringe Christian religious organization that he used for his own political activism, eventually forcing over 900 people to commit mass suicide at his Jonestown settlement in Guyana on November 18, 1978. The Jonestown massacre has been the subject of multiple film, TV, and documentary projects, as well as a catalog of books and music, which have sealed the incident into a cultural fascination.

DiCaprio recently starred in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywoodand is slated to debut Don't Look Up, a Netflix comedy from director Adam McKay next month. The Oscar-winning actor recently wrapped the Martin-Scorsese- directed Killers of the Flower Moon and is set to star in an adaptation of Stephen Talty's The Black Hand next. DiCaprio is rumored to be starring in Scorsese's Roosevelt biopic sometime in the next year as well.

Related: The Iconic Titanic Quote That Leonardo DiCaprio Improvised

Today, Deadline announced that DiCaprio is in final negotiations to star in and produce a biopic about Jones, which is based on a script by Scott Rosenberg (Venom). DiCaprio is expected to play Jones, which would be well within the actor's wheelhouse of larger-than-life biographical characters. There is no word yet on who may direct the feature, nor are there any details in terms of how the story would be approached, but more information will likely shape up as more talent is lined up.


There have been no less than 20 film, TV, and documentary projects about Jim Jones made, some of which are "fictionalized" accounts that retell the story to some degree or another. American Horror Story: Cult (in the "Drink The Kool-Aid" episode) featured a take on the Jonestown tragedy, as did the film The Sacrament, a found-footage horror film from Ti West, which emulates the event in a fictionalized account. 2015's The Invitation, from director Karyn Kasuma is often compared to Jim Jones' cult. Another film that pulls from the Jonestown incident is Phil Joanou's The Veil, produced by Jason Blum and starring Jessica Alba and Lily Rabe, which puts a more supernatural twist on the event.

DiCaprio hasn't shied away from playing real-life people throughout his career, from Howard Hughes to J. Edgar Hoover to Frank Abagnale, Jr. and beyond. The actor won an Oscar for his portrayal of another real-life person, Hugh Glass, whom he portrayed in The Revenant. DiCaprio has always been drawn to enigmatic personalities as it's allowed him to flex the more extreme aspects of his acting prowess, providing the type of challenges that he responds to. No doubt, DiCaprio will soar as Jones, who has been an infamous fixture in true crime and cult-themed stories ever since Jonestown occurred. With the right filmmaker, this could be the next big Leonardo DiCaprio awards contender.

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