This is a reunion fit for awards bait.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been laying low for the past few years since finally winning an Academy Award for The Revenant a couple of years ago. But let’s be real, would he have any trouble ever landing a job again? Not only is DiCaprio lined up for the new Tarantino film, but last year he was announced to play Leonardo da Vinci in a biopic. Deadline reports that Academy Award-nominated screenwriter John Logan is on board to write the script for the film based on Walter Isaacson’s “Leonardo da Vinci.”
Da Vinci is clearly not the most original film topic. But googling the phrase “movies about Leonardo da Vinci” either gets you DiCaprio’s filmography or hilariously enough, one of those Tom Hanks adaptations of Dan Brown novels in the top few results. So, there are clearly multiple layers of buzz in the development of this film alone. A lot of that hype admittedly surrounds DiCaprio himself; the story of him being named after the famous painter himself has made the rounds enough times for us to remember it.
Furthermore, despite the fact that DiCaprio already has his damn Oscar, he obviously has the luxury of going for only the high-profile stuff. But that’s not a bad thing either because, even if it can be hard to remember this due to the meme-ification of DiCaprio’s actual talents, he can act. Deep down, I can’t help but be one of those people who remain excited about new Leo projects, even if he’s always doing something awards bait-y. What’s bigger and better than The Wolf of Wall Street and The Revenant? Why, a ridiculously famous historical figure, of course!
According to Deadline, Isaacson’s book about da Vinci will cover many of his idiosyncrasies, giving DiCaprio tons to work with. One of the most iconic elements of da Vinci himself centered on his love for science and how it translated into his most famous pieces like the Mona Lisa and the Vitruvian Man. Deadline writes:
“Aside from his priceless paintings, [da Vinci] pursued innovative studies of anatomy (his iconic drawing of ‘Vitruvian Man’), fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology and weaponry. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea and produced illusions of changing perspectives in ‘The Last Supper.’ Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. According to the book, he also was a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted and at times heretical.”
Logan’s screenplay would then make or break DiCaprio’s portrayal of da Vinci; there’s only so much a good actor can do, after all. Luckily, DiCaprio will be in good hands. Logan previously penned The Aviator, which earned a ton of awards buzz (even some for DiCaprio in the Best Actor category). Logan also wrote Gladiator and Hugo, and both films earned awards nominations too. He’s found further success on the small screen as well, with Showtime’s terrific horror drama series, Penny Dreadful. Logan’s foray into bigger films haven’t been my cup of tea — I don’t care for Bond and Alien: Covenant was a trying experience — but he keeps in good graces overall by having such a stacked resume.
If anything, the process of putting Leonardo da Vinci together just proves that DiCaprio is determined to work with the best people, and as he’s constantly in a position to do so, that can only mean good tidings for his fans. I do wonder which of his director friends will step in to helm the project. As Leonardo da Vinci falls into place, I doubt that it will miss a beat. There are plenty who still love DiCaprio enough to indulge his ambitiousness and bombastic creativity. He’s probably cleaning off shelf space for Oscar #2 anyway.