After crying wolf before, Martin Scorsese now plans to follow through and direct The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio, with Boardwalk Empire‘s Terry Winter having adapted the Jordan Belfort memoir. They will announce financing and a start date in Cannes. Scorsese plans to make the film after he finishes post on Hugo Cabret and then films his dream project, Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo book that now has Bencio Del Toro attached.
Scorsese and DiCaprio were keen to do the project together several years ago, but it stalled in a tug of war between Warner Bros, which controlled the project, and Paramount, which had a rich deal with Scorsese that entitled the studio to share the film. When that dragged on, Scorsese and DiCaprio made what turned out to be a great decision: they instead did Shutter Island. That turned out to be a big hit for each. Most recently, Ridley Scott made plans to board the picture as director, because Scorsese didn’t think he’d have time after committing to the 3D Hugo Cabret, and mulling The Irishman, a Steve Zaillian scripted adaptation of the mob memoir I Heard You Paint Houses, with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci starring. Scott instead committed to the science fiction film Prometheus and Scorsese has swung back around to make his fifth film with go-to guy DiCaprio. DiCaprio will play a Wall Streeter with a raging drug habit and hard partying lifestyle that ultimately brings him down. Belford spent 22 months in federal prison for stock market manipulation. Despite the sound of that, I’m told the script is funny, dramatic and fast paced, and manages to make something of a sympathetic character out of a stockbroker who supervises a cadre of brokers who squeezed clients to buy stocks that paid off–for the brokers, who used the funds to live extravagantly until they were brought down by the feds. It actually sounds a bit like Goodfellas, and it’s not hard to imagine the Wall Street crowd of the 1990s taking the place of mobsters.
Alexandra Milchan, Appian Way and Scorsese are producing. Said Belfort: “After almost four years in development, I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to finally be working with Leo and Marty on this. They’re the ultimate dream team, and it was definitely worth the wait.” Belford has been sober 14 years and makes a living as a motivational speaker and corporate trainer. DiCaprio is currently starring for Clint Eastwood in J Edgar, the biopic of FBI head J. Edgar Hoover.
Scorsese’s plan to finally do Silence would also bring to fruition a project Scorsese has been burning to direct since 1998. The director and GK Films nearly had the pic together with Del Toro, Daniel Day-Lewis and Gabriel Garcia Bernal in the Jay Cocks-scripted saga of Jesuits who face danger as they preach Christianity and try to find their mentor in 17th Century Japan.
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