Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio are in early talks to work together again on a Ulysses S. Grant movie biopic. The director and actor previously collaborated on 2002's Catch Me If You Can, a memoir starring DiCaprio as real life con artist extraordinaire Frank Abagnale, Jr. In the sixteen years since then, Spielberg has remained incredibly active as both a director and producer. DiCpario, meanwhile, has continued to work with the cream of the crop in terms of filmmakers and finally won an Oscar for his acting on 2015's The Revenant.
After taking some time off, DiCaprio is getting back to acting and will begin shooting Quentin Tarantino's 1969-set drama Once Upon Time in Hollywood later this year. Spielberg only just released Ready Player One back in March, but he's already gearing up to film his fifth Indiana Jones movie and the West Side Story remake (essentially) back-to-back next year. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but it sounds like Spielberg is now hot on directing DiCpario in the Grant biopic as soon as their schedules open up again.
According to Deadline's sources, the Ulysses S. Grant biopic is now a "priority" for both Spielberg and DiCaprio. The project is based on the Ron Chernow biography Grant, which DiCaprio's Appian Way acquired the movie rights to last November. David James Kelly, who cowrote this fall's Robin Hood, is working on the adapted script, with the intention being that DiCaprio will star with Spielberg calling the shots.
Spielberg has been a fan of historical dramas throughout his career as a director, but over the past decade they've become a priority for him. He's released three over the past six years alone, including a Lincoln memoir that deals with many of the same topics as a Ulysses S. Grant biopic would. Jared Harris even played Grant in Lincoln, so the Civil War general and infamously scandal-ridden 18th U.S. president is clearly a figure of interest to Spielberg. He's also the sort of complicated individual that should offer a meaty role for someone like DiCaprio to sink his teeth into (not to mention, grow another frizzly beard for).
It seem as though the real obstacle that could prevent Grant from happening are Spielberg and DiCaprio's collective to-do list. Spielberg is also actively developing DC's WWII-set Blackhawk movie and may end up directing it after he wraps West Side Story. Similarly, DiCaprio is loosely attached to star in biopics about Leonardo Da Vinci and Teddy Roosevelt, and may yet unite once more with Martin Scorsese on the true story based historical crime drama, Killers of the Flower Moon. All the same, Spielberg and DiCaprio did great work together on Catch Me If You Can and a Ulysses S. Grant biopic by the duo could prove to be something equally special.
We will keep you posted on Grant as the story develops.