LOS ANGELES, Oct 13, (Agencies): Hollywood is planning a movie about Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating scandal, with Leonardo DiCaprio, who has long championed environmental causes, set to produce the film, press reports said Monday.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Paramount and DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way have bought the rights to an upcoming book on the scandal, which has sent ripples across the globe.
The auto giant stands accused of installing software on millions of diesel cars to cheat emissions tests and evade limits on nitrogen oxide and other pollutants.
The scandal has deeply damaged the image of the carmaker and led to the resignation of the company’s chief executive Martin Winterkorn.
DiCaprio is an outspoken advocate for environmental issues and his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has donated millions for environmental causes.
The award-winning actor has also been involved in a number of film projects that touch on environmental issues including “The 11th Hour”, a documentary about the state of the planet.
Reed Morano has been one of the most in-demand cinematographers working in independent film over the past few years, having lent her observant, nuanced talents to Sundance favorites including “Kill Your Darlings”, “The Skeleton Twins” and “Frozen River”. This year, she graduated from cinematographer to director with the moody drama “Meadowland”, which screened last night at New York’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema with an event sponsored by the diamond company Forevermark. Though she’d already had plenty of behind-the-camera experience, Morano still learned a few new things from the experience.
“The thing that was new to me was being able to make a lot more decisions that I had always wished I’d had control over. It was a lot more work because I was DP-ing and directing, but it was so gratifying and so fulfilling,” she told Variety last night. She chose “Meadowland” — which stars Luke Wilson and Olivia Wilde as New Jersey parents who unravel after their child is abducted — because, “I’d always been attracted as a cinematographer to very dramatic, powerful stories, and this one just moved me the with the words on the page, and I thought, ‘if I’m already feeling this with just the words, I bet with the right crew and cast, I can make something special.’”
“Meadowland” was also a learning experience for Wilde, who produced the film and fought for the lead role as soon as she discovered Morano was involved. “It was the most challenging experience of my career, and the most gratifying, as anyone who has produced an independent film will tell you. But I learned a hell of a lot about producing and acting,” she told Variety, adding that her main was lesson was “how difficult it is to get a film financed, how difficult it is to find people who want to invest in small, female-directed, female-produced films.”
After nabbing UFC fighter Ronda Rousey to star in a reboot of Patrick Swayze’s “Road House,” MGM has now found its director.
Sources tell Variety that Nick Cassavetes has closed a deal to write and direct the re-envisioning of the ’80s action classic, with Rousey on board to star and produce.
Rousey is currently in training for her championship fight against Holly Holm on Nov 14 at UFC 193. Insiders say once the fight is over, the plan is to immediately begin prepping for a fast-tracked shoot in the first quarter of 2016.
Released in 1989, the original film starred Swayze as a bouncer hired to clean up one of the rowdiest, loudest bars in Missouri, The Double Deuce. Swayze’s character is put to the test when he needs to protect the town from a corrupt businessman.