Leonardo DiCaprio has finally lined up his first post-Oscar role. Aside from an utterly on-brand producing role on Captain Planet movie, DiCaprio has been laying low after he sentenced an internet meme to death and finally landed that coveted gold statue. Per Variety, Paramount Pictures has acquired Stephen Talty‘s crime history The Black Hand as a vehicle for the actor. DiCaprio will star and produce via his Appian Way banner.
Per the report, they are currently looking for a screenwriter to adapt Talty’s book, which follows the genesis of organized crime in America and the officer determined to stop it. Set in the early 1900s, the story follows detective Joseph Petrosino, a famed NYPD officer who squared off against “The Black Hand”, a ruthless gang that kidnapped the children of immigrants and extorted their family for money. Petrosino would ultimately be assassinated by the organization. So DiCaprio’s going to play a guy dubbed the “Italian Sherlock Holmes” and battle the mob? Yeah, I’ll watch that movie.
Talty is a New York Times bestselling history author. He also acted as ghostwriter on A Captain’s Duty, the book that provided the basis for the Oscar-nominated film Captain Phillips.
DiCaprio has a huge amount of other projects in various stages of development. To name a few, he’s set to reunite with Martin Scorsese for an adaptation of Erik Larson‘s The Devil In The White City, a mystery project with The Revenant writer Mark L. Smith called Conquest, and the true-life Dissociative Identity Disorder crime drama The Crowded Room. We can add The Black Hand to the pile.
Here’s the synopsis for the The Black Hand, via Amazon.
Beginning in the summer of 1903, an insidious crime wave filled New York City, and then the entire country, with fear. The children of Italian immigrants were kidnapped, and dozens of innocent victims were gunned down. Bombs tore apart tenement buildings. Judges, senators, Rockefellers, and society matrons were threatened with gruesome deaths. The perpetrators seemed both omnipresent and invisible. Their only calling card: the symbol of a black hand. The crimes whipped up the slavering tabloid press and heated ethnic tensions to the boiling point. Standing between the American public and the Black Hand’s lawlessness was Joseph Petrosino. Dubbed the “Italian Sherlock Holmes,” he was a famously dogged and ingenious detective, and a master of disguise. As the crimes grew ever more bizarre and the Black Hand’s activities spread far beyond New York’s borders, Petrosino and the all-Italian police squad he assembled raced to capture members of the secret criminal society before the country’s anti-immigrant tremors exploded into catastrophe. Petrosino’s quest to root out the source of the Black Hand’s power would take him all the way to Sicily—but at a terrible cost.