Leonardo DiCaprio, the Oscar-winning actor and namesake of iconic Renaissance artist and thinker Leonardo da Vinci, will star as ‘da Vinci’ in Paramount’s newest biopic.
Paramount beat Universal Studios in a seven-figure bidding war over the rights to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci (the base of the film). Universal attempted to outbid Paramount, carrying Friday’s bidding into the next morning. The bidding wrapped up, however, with ICM Partners brokering the deal for Isaacson and his book.
DiCaprio and producer Jennifer Davisson will produce through Appian Way, the film production company established by DiCaprio, which expects to be a big part of the studio rebound. When Universal stepped into the bidding, Paramount took the action needed to win the title. Sources named Elizabeth Raposo, Paramount’s new President of Production, as a big part of this success.
Isaacson, a New York Times Best Selling author, has written many biographies on notable thinkers, such as Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin. His most recent book, “Einstein: His Life and Universe” (2007) became National Geographic’s drama series “Genius,” starring Geoffrey Rush.
As the well-known namesake of da Vinci, it’s no surprise DiCaprio desired so strongly to star in this film: his mother named him Leonardo because, whilst at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, baby Leo kicked like never before in his pregnant mother’s stomach as she viewed one of da Vinci’s most famous pieces. Coincidence?
“Leonardo da Vinci” airs October 17th, 2017.