New Regency is currently trying to acquire the rights to a novel by Josh Bazell called Beat The Reaper, and they’re looking at it to be a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio.

DiCaprio himself will produce, alongside Julie Yorn (Max Payne, The Devil’s Rejects) and Jennifer Davisson Killoran and will also be a co-production between Appian Way and a new production/ management company started by Ricky Yorn (who’s worked with DiCaprio before as producer on The Aviator and Gangs of New York).

The plot for the novel is:

A Manhattan emergency room doctor, whose life becomes complicated when a mobster recognizes the doc from his former life as a hitman who went into the witness protection program.

Yeah… it sounds familiar to me too…

For any of you who happen to not recognize the similarities with another film I’ll bring you into the loop. The plot given (although not identical), is very reminiscent of A History of Violence, the 2005 film directed by David Cronenberg and which starred Viggo Mortensen. The graphic novel which that was based on was written back in 2004, whereas the Beat The Reaper novel has just recently been published.

Here is the synopsis of A History of Violence to compare:

Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is a pillar of a small town community who runs a diner and lives a happy and quiet life with his wife (Maria Bello) and two children. But their lives are forever changed when Stall thwarts an attempted robbery and is lauded as a hero by the media, attracting the attention of some mobsters (William Hurt, Ed Harris) who believe he is someone else.

Do you think it’s too similar or different enough?

I’m sure the movie itself won’t resemble A History of Violence in any way, but with a plot that reminiscent of it they’ll have to work hard just to disassociate it from the other film. Nonetheless I will admit I’m intrigued at DiCaprio possibly starring in this sort of role. He’s not only eying the starring role, but he’s also producing, which shows he’s passionate abut the project. I’m sure he wouldn’t put his effort into something if he didn’t think was worth it.

Do you like the sound of Beat The Reaper and the fact that DiCaprio might be starring in it?

Sources: Variety and ComingSoon.net

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