Leonardo DiCaprio has been elected to star in the Woodrow Wilson biopic, Wilson. Based on the A. Scott Berg biography of the 28th U.S. President, the rights of which were recently acquired by Warner Bros., DiCaprio will also produce through his Appian Way banner along with partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Generally well-received, Wilson portrays the President in a positive light when it comes to his handling of World War I, the Federal Reserve and the League of Nations, but downplays his weak stance on civil liberties. In other words, a biography tailor-made for movie-going audiences. There are plenty of events from Wilson’s life, both before and during his Presidency, to make a worthwhile biopic nonetheless. Hit the jump for more on Wilson.
THR reports that DiCaprio will both star in and produce Wilson. It’s a bit of an odd choice to choose Wilson as a Hollywood follow-up to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, especially since a hundred years have passed since Wilson took office and he still isn’t exactly a household name. Perhaps this news is nothing more than the studio picking up the rights to the property while it’s hot. This is one to keep an eye on as it develops over the months and years (and hopefully someone comes up with a more compelling title).
Here’s the synopsis from Berg’s biography, Wilson (via Amazon):
One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson–the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th President.
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents in the Wilson Archives, Berg was the first biographer to gain access to two recently-discovered caches of papers belonging to those close to Wilson. From this material, Berg was able to add countless details–even several unknown events–that fill in missing pieces of Wilson’s character and cast new light on his entire life.
From the scholar-President who ushered the country through its first great world war to the man of intense passion and turbulence , from the idealist determined to make the world “safe for democracy” to the stroke-crippled leader whose incapacity and the subterfuges around it were among the century’s greatest secrets, the result is an intimate portrait written with a particularly contemporary point of view – a book at once magisterial and deeply emotional about the whole of Wilson’s life, accomplishments, and failings. This is not just Wilson the icon – but Wilson the man.