Leonardo DiCaprio Is in Talks to Play Jonestown Cult Leader Jim Jones

Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to play Jim Jones, the infamous cult leader who orchestrated a mass-suicide of over 900 of his followers at Jonestown in 1978. Read on to find out more about the project.

By Gabrielle Chung Nov 09, 2021 1:28 AMTags
Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio on "What's Eating Gilbert Grape": E! News Rewind

Leonardo DiCaprio has his eyes set on playing one of history's most dangerously charismatic men.

E! News can confirm that the 46-year-old Oscar winner is in final negotiations to play Jim Jones—the infamous cult leader who orchestrated a mass-suicide at his Jonestown settlement on November 18, 1978—in an upcoming movie with MGM. The incident, which saw more than 900 people die after drinking grape-flavored punch laced with cyanide, is considered the biggest instance of American civilian deaths not caused by a natural disaster until the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In addition to starring in the biopic, currently titled Jim Jones, DiCaprio will serve as a producer alongside Jennifer Davisson, the president of production at his Appian Way company, according to Deadline, who was first to report the news.

The outlet reports that the feature film's script was penned screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, whose work includes High Fidelity, Gone in 60 Seconds, Venom and the two latest Jumanji sequels. Rosenberg will also reportedly executive produce the project.

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Leonardo DiCaprio's Best Roles

As fans know, DiCaprio is no stranger to taking on real-life figures with criminally immoral pasts. The actor previously captivated audiences in 2002's Catch Me If You Can as Frank Abagnale Jr., the prolific con man who scammed millions of dollars by posing as a Pan Am pilot. He also notably portrayed Jordan Belfort, the high-flying stock broker who later pleaded guilty to fraud, in 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street.

 

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However, that's not to say that DiCaprio doesn't go for lighter roles as well.

He is currently slated to appear along Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Matthew Perry, Himesh Patel, Rob Morgan and Tomer Sisley in Adam McKay's dark comedy Don't Look Up. In it, he plays a professor whose momentous discovery that a comet heading straight for Earth is being taken by a grain of salt by the U.S. government. 

DiCaprio opened up about the role in September, telling People, "I knew when I read [McKay's] script that it was incredibly unique, as it struck an important chord concerning the modern world we live in. Adam has woven an incredibly timely message about society, how we communicate, our current priorities, and the climate crisis into an absurdly funny yet important movie."

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