Here’s proof that sometimes projects do come out of development hell. The long-in-the-works Teddy Roosevelt movie that Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese have been developing and discussing for at least a decade may actually be happening. Per Deadline, Paramount has put together Roosevelt with DiCaprio starring as the U.S. President and Scorsese directing. Scott Bloom has been set to write the screenplay, and DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are producing through their Appian Way banner along with Scorsese, Emma Koskoff, and Chuck Pacheco.
It’s unclear what the source material will be and which period of Roosevelt’s life the film would focus on, but back in 2006 the idea was to adapt Edmund Morris’ The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and cover his fascinating early years. This has long been a passion project for DiCaprio, and there’s plenty of ways to tackle the life of Roosevelt so it should be interesting to see how this shapes up.
But this movie is far from a done deal. Scorsese is currently in the midst of production on The Irishman for Netflix, which will take up his time for at least the next year, if not longer. And DiCaprio has a habit of developing potential starring projects at various studios, but he’s notoriously picky and doesn’t pull the trigger unless it’s something he’s really passionate about. There’s also the possibility that DiCaprio and Scorsese team up on a different project next, Killers of the Flower Moon or Devil in the White City, both of which are in active development.
What you can bank on this not affecting is that Joker origin movie that Warner Bros. is developing as a non-DCEU one-off. Reports swirled that DiCaprio was the studio’s top choice to take on the role for director Todd Phillips, and Scorsese is reportedly in negotiations to produce that pic. But DiCaprio has shied away from blockbusters of that sort and it’s not even clear if Scorsese will end up actually producing that project, let alone if that movie will happen. So that movie’s a non-issue.
What is clear is that DiCaprio and Scorsese are eager to work together again for a sixth time, and they have a number of exciting projects to choose from. It’s possible Roosevelt now has the edge given that DiCaprio’s wanted to make it for so long, and that the two just worked with Paramount on The Wolf of Wall Street to great success. I’m down for any one of these, as long as this dynamic duo is still together. Stay tuned.