Leonardo DiCaprio, the interesting actor turned teen heartthrob turned interesting actor again, has lined up his next post-Revolutionary Road project, but this time I can goddamn guarantee you that it’s a go picture.
The movie is Body of Lies, which used to be known as Penetration, but which is still based on Washington Post columnist David Ignatius’s novel about a Jordanian-based CIA agent’s attempts to undermine Al Qaeda by turning the organization’s various leaders against each other. It’s also still going to be written by William Monohan, whose last collaboration with DiCaprio netted him a Best Screenwriting Oscar (for A Dog of Flanders), and directed by Ridley Scott, who ain’t never worked with no DiCaprio but knows from Mono – as he’s referred to ’round Compton way – thanks to 2005’s magnificent Kingdom of Heaven (don’t even comment on the message board thread for this if you haven’t watched the Director’s Cut, okay?).
What does this mean for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (which sold last week as a potential DiCaprio vehicle)? Well, first of all, it means it’s not happening this year, since both films are Warner Brothers properties and Lies is further along in development. Maybe that project happens next year, or maybe Scorsese makes his Jesuit missionary epic, Silence (which will probably be packed with references to Rossellini’s The Flowers of St. Francis), first, and then hooks back up with DiCaprio for The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, which, according to those who’ve read the Nicholas Meyer script, is about the rise of Theodore Roosevelt. In any event, Lies goes first – i.e. after Sam Mendes’s Revolutionary Road, written by Justin Haythe. Here’s hoping Haythe has become a less thuddingly obvious screenwriter since The Clearing. I’m sure the massively subtle Mendes is just the man to break him of that habit.