It's been well over a year since we first got word that Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese would be reteaming for an adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street. A couple months back it was reported that shooting on the film would begin this summer - though nothing official had been announced at that time.
Now, Red Granite Pictures who owns the rights to Belfort's book, has released a proper announcement - asserting that both DiCaprio and Scorsese are, in fact, on-board for the film which will, contrary to earlier reports, start filming in the fall.
The Wolf of Wall Street marks the fifth collaboration between the headlining actor and fan-favorite director - with Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), and Shutter Island (2010) making up the first four. To put that in perspective, excluding shorts and documentaries, DiCaprio has starred in four out of the last five Scorsese pictures (with Hugo as the exception). So, it shouldn't come as too big of a surprise that the director tapped the three-time Academy Award nominee for his latest based-on-true-events character drama.
For anyone unfamiliar with Belfort's memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street, the book was first published in 2007 and chronicles the former Wall Street stockbroker's rise to riches - and ultimate white collar crime conviction. Despite the true story itself leaving Belfort's investors with losses totaling over $100 million collectively, his memoir has become a go-to read as a result of the outrageous activities of the stock kingpin and his underlings - which included, among other debaucherous adventures, loads of cocaine and prostitutes as well as a crashed Gulfstream jet - all while his wife and children waited at home (he's since divorced).
Belfort has since straightened his life out - publishing the aforementioned memoir, as well as its follow-up, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street: More Incredible True Stories of Fortunes, Schemes, Parties, and Prison as a cautionary tale for any want-to-be Belforts (who might still look to the man as not a wolf but The Adonis of Wall Street, instead). Unsurprisingly, Belfort's story has often been cited as the inspiration for Ben Younger's 2000 film, Boiler Room starring Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel.
It's unclear, at this point, how much of The Wolf of Wall Street memoir (as well as the "sequel") will be included in Scorsese's film - since quite a bit of time is covered between the two. However, there's no doubt that DiCaprio, coupled with the director's sharp filmmaking style, could make for an especially intriguing portrayal of the charming but borderline sadistic Belfort of the time.
According to the official press release, producer Riza Aziz had this to say about Scorsese's attachment to the project:
Everything about this film plays to Martin Scorsese’s genius and visionary storytelling. At its heart, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is about the rise of new ‘modern’ gangsters in New York. Wall Street gangsters that redefined excess, greed and arrogance. We’re excited to see Mr. Scorsese take the reins of this visceral, tumultuous ride.
As for DiCaprio, who continues to churn-out one memorable performance after another, the role of a fast-talking conman shouldn't be too unfamiliar - as the actor has tapped similar ground in films such as Catch Me If You Can and Inception (to a degree).
The press release asserts that filming will start this August in New York - easily targeting a 2013 release. In the mean time, DiCaprio will be finishing up his villainous turn as Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, though he'll be seen first as Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
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The Wolf of Wall Street is currently scheduled for release in 2013.