Screenwriter Jason Hall has booked yet another high-profile screenwriting gig. After impressing with his adaptation of American Sniper that attracted Bradley Cooper as star/producer and Steven Spielberg as director, we recently reported that Hall had entered talks to adapt the PTSD novel Thank You For Your Service. Now a report has surfaced noting that Hall has sold a pitch to Warner Bros. called Rasputin that will be developed as a starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. Hit the jump for much more on the project and Rasputin’s fascinating story.
For those unaware, the titular Grigori Rasputin was a Russian mystic and adviser to the Russian Imperial family the Romanovs in the early 20th century. Rasputin was called upon as a healer to Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra’s only son Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia. While Rasputin had a heavy amount of influence on the Romanov family, he also had his fair share of detractors who saw him as “a debauched religious charlatan.” His enemies tried to kill him several times by shooting him, strangling him, and stabbing him. He was finally assassinated in 1918 when he was drowned in the icy Neva River after having been shot in the back earlier that night.
Per Deadline, DiCaprio sparked to Hall’s take on the story, as the script delves into lesser-discussed aspects of Rasputin’s life like his 12-year long travels across Europe and the evidence that he had a twin brother who died early. DiCaprio is producing the pic through his Appian Way banner and the project will be developed as a starring vehicle for the actor at Warner Bros.
DiCaprio doesn’t currently have any firm future projects on the docket, as the actor decided to take a year or two break from acting after having filmed The Great Gatsby, Django Unchained, and the upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street back to back. DiCaprio will be making yet another run for Oscar with Martin Scorsese’s Wall Street, which opens this November, but I would really love to see him disappear into the role in Rasputin, so here’s hoping the project eventually comes together.