Well, this just seems perfect. It has been officially announced that Leonardo DiCaprio will play the painter/scientist and fellow Leonardo, Leonardo da Vinci in a biopic based off of author Walter Isaacson’s book called, you guessed it, Leonardo da Vinci. As it turns out, Paramount won an intense bidding war for the project over Universal who was reportedly bringing out the big guns to acquire the biopic. DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson will produce the movie for their Appian Way banner.
Deadline reported the news while also sharing that DiCaprio was allegedly named after da Vinci. The story goes that DiCaprio’s mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in Italy while pregnant with the superstar actor. Legend has it that DiCaprio kicked for the first time while his mother was looking at the painting and gained a name. It is not clear what painting that his mother was looking at, but he’s lucky that he didn’t kick while his mother was looking at the floor or using the bathroom.
Isaacson previously wrote Steve Jobs, which was turned into a movie directed by Danny Boyle that starred Michael Fassbender. The former Time magazine editor also has written bestsellers on Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, the latter of which was the basis for the Emmy-nominated NatGeo series Genius that starred Geoffrey Rush. Isaacson’s book on Leonardo da Vinci is set to be published on October 17th, 2017 by Simon & Schuster. The author wrote the book while looking at da Vinci’s notebooks and it is expected to connect the science and art aspects of da Vinci while focusing on his intense creativity and drive. According to Isaacson’s book, da Vinci also was a bit of a misfit. The artist/scientist was illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted and at times heretical.
Da Vinci was born in 1452 and died in 1519 and is best known for painting the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, but he was also a very skilled inventor. He also pursued innovative studies of anatomy his drawing of Vitruvian Man is iconic, but that was only the tip of the iceberg for da Vinci; he was also a genius at math, writing, botany, science, music, history, cartography, and many other subjects. Many historians and scholars regard da Vinci as the prime example of the “Universal Genius” and a “Renaissance Man.”
Leonardo DiCaprio is no stranger to playing real people on the big screen. His third movie role was as Tobias Wolff in This Boy’s Life and two years later he played author, poet, and musician Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries. The actor also portrayed con man Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me if You Can and billionaire Howard Hughes in The Aviator. Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in The Revenant. No production information is available at this time and it is not clear when the Leonardo da Vinci movie will begin shooting. As previously mentioned, Isaacson’s book on Leonardo da Vinci won’t even be out until the middle of October, so it might be a while before the movie ramps up production.