D.J. Caruso to Direct BEAT THE REAPER; Leonardo DiCaprio to Possibly Star

     February 9, 2011


Director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) is currently doing the press rounds for his upcoming sci-fi film I Am Number Four, and it looks like he’s already decided what his next project will be. Caruso is set to direct the film adaptation of Josh Bazell’s suspense novel Beat the Reaper for 20th Century Fox. Leonardo DiCaprio acquired the film rights to the novel through his production company Appian Way a couple of years ago. He’s currently set to produce, but The Playlist reports that Caruso and DiCaprio are now trying to figure out if DiCaprio will be available to star in the film as well.

Beat the Reaper tells the story of a former mobster-turned-doctor whose past comes back to haunt him and ends up trying to tie up loose ends. Brian Koppelman and David Levian (Ocean’s Thirteen) wrote the script. Reaper is apparently the first in a series of novels, so this could be the first in a franchise of films for Caruso and possibly DiCaprio if he signs on to star. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.

beat-the-reaper-book-cover-imageHere’s the synopsis for Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell:

The Locanos, a mob family, take in 14-year-old Pietro Brwna (pronounced Browna) after a couple of thugs gun down the grandparents who raised him in their New Jersey home. Bent on revenge, Pietro pursues the killers and executes them a year later. Impressed by Pietros performance, David Locano recruits Pietro as a hit man. After more traumas, Pietro tries to make a break from his past by entering the witness protection program. Now known as Peter Brown, he eventually lands a position as a doctor at a decrepit Manhattan hospital, where by chance a former Mafia associate turns up as a patient and threatens to rat him out. The hero’s wry narrative voice, coupled with Bazells artful use of flashbacks to sustain tension and fill in Pietro’s past, are a winning combination. [Amazon]

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