Pulitzer Prize winning author and scholar A. Scott Berg’s newest biography Wilson hit bookshelves on September 10. On September 16th the film rights to the biopic were snapped up by Warner Bros. as a potential high-profile role for Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio will be producing with his partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran and their Appian Way banner, along with Berg.
Berg, renowned for his biographies of American cultural figures, is the first scholar to have access to hundreds of Woodrow Wilson’s personal letters, helping him to fill in missing pieces of Wilson’s life. Wilson has been garnering strong reviews, telling the story of a career academic, famous orator, president of Princeton University, and Governor of New Jersey, and his rapid rise to become the 28th President of the United States (1913-1921). Wilson had lived through the Civil War and had seen with his own eyes the horrific devastation war brings. It was his reason for refraining from entering World War 1 in his first term. By his second term he was forced to plunge forward onto the battlefield. Wilson was the first president to attach a world vision to war, citing the belief that we are all citizens of one world. With a heavy heart he entered World War 1 “To make the world safe for democracy.” 112,000 American soldiers were lost in combat or by disease – twice as many as in Vietnam.
Leonardo DiCaprio seems to enjoy making biopics of historical figures. He played FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s 2011 J. Edgar, and he played Howard Hughes in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. As of last month, Leonardo was attached to the upcoming biopic of the last Viking king, Harald Hardrada. He’ll next be seen in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (their fifth collaboration) as Jordan Belfort, a stock broker who was jailed for securities fraud in the 1990s.
Lynn Harris will be overseeing the Wilson biopic for the studio. With Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln grossing a profit of over $275 million, Wilson seems like a smart move. No director or scribe has been assigned to the project yet.