Paramount has beaten Universal in an intense bidding war that gives them the film rights to Walter Isaacson's upcoming book about Leonardo Da Vinci. The namesake of the famous Renaissance artist, Leonardo DiCaprio is already attached to play the titular role.
The book was brokered for its film rights by ICM partners well ahead of its publication date of October 17, 2017. DiCaprio who is also producing the film with his Appian Way banner with Jennifer Davisson already had a first-look deal with Paramount, but Universal got wind of the project and attempted to outbid their rival studio for it. The auction was so ardent, that the bidding war lasted until Saturday morning.
It is no surprise that Leonardo DiCaprio is keen to star and produce this film, since his mother claims that she named the actor after the artist, when she felt the then in the womb baby DiCaprio kick for the first time when she was looking at a DaVinci painting when she was at the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy.
But the Oscar-winning actor's name is not the only reason why the studios launched a seven figure bidding war over the film rights. The author of the upcoming book, Walter Isaacson is an award winning writer and journalist who was named by Time Magazine in 2012 as one of the most influential people in the world. His autobiography about Steve Jobs became an international best seller and broke records for sales in the genre. The book is also the basis for the 2015 film, Steve Jobs, which won critical acclaim, and garnered Academy award nominations for its lead stars, Michael Fassbender who portrayed Jobs and Kate Winslet who played his confidant and right hand woman, Joanna Hoffman.
Paramount and DiCaprio are most probably hoping that they could replicate this success or do even better. Maybe a second Oscar for Leo?