Last month, a scandal erupted in the automotive industry when the Environmental Protection Agency fined the German automotive giant Volkswagen up to $18 billion for violation of the Clean Air Act after it was discovered that Volkswagen had installed banned software into their clean diesel cars. This software would register when a car was being tested for fuel emissions, and respond by activating the emissions control to cheat the test and meet EPA regulations. The result of this scandal sent ripples throughout the automotive industry as well as the stock market, and now, it will make its way to Hollywood. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Jennifer Davisson will produce a film detailing the scandal through their Appian Way company, with Paramount overseeing the project.
The story will be based on an upcoming book by Jack Ewing, for which Paramount has already acquired the rights. Ewing, a writer for The New York Times, has already covered the scandal extensively through his reporting for the publication.
The scandal has already resulted in the resignation of Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn, and has also seen Volkswagen’s stock plunge.
Outside of his work in front of the camera, DiCaprio has become more prominent in working behind the scenes as a producer through his Appian Way banner. The actor’s upcoming productions include A Boy and His Tiger (a biography about the early career of Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson), Robin Hood: Origins, Delirium, Live By Night (a Ben Affleck directed story set in the Prohibition Era), Akira (the live-action remake to the Japanese anime hit), and Devil in the White City (which is also set to star DiCaprio with Martin Scorsese directing).
The Volkswagen project is still in the early stages of development, and as of yet has no director or writer attached.