It’s easier to get things done in Hollywood when you’re a hot up-and-coming writer with one of the biggest stars in the biz attached to your project. So much so that Warner Bros. has gone ahead and greenlit Jason Hall’s pitch – yes, pitch, not script – for a movie about the Russian mystic Rasputin which will star Leonardo DiCaprio.
If Hall’s is not a name you know yet, fear not. His only released feature to date is Spread, which starred Ashton Kutcher and saw a limited release after playing at Sundance in 2009. More impressive, however, is his list of films which are underway and in development, led by Paranoia, which stars Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Josh Holloway and hits theaters August 16. Hall also wrote American Sniper, which will star Bradley Cooper and be directe by Steven Spielberg. Sniper will begin filming next year. Finally, this new Rasputin movie makes seven scripts more that are currently in the process of packaging and development.
For those unfamiliar, Grigori Rasputin was an influential Russian mystic in the early 20th century. Although he was never official connected to the church, Rasputin gained a reputation as a faith healer and teacher of the Bible. He later became an influential adviser to Tsar Nicholas II and his family after healing the Tsar’s son. Much of Rasputin’s life, including claims that he was a romantic charlatan, is shrouded in mystery and competing accounts. What is very clear is that, for one reason or another, Rasputin developed enemies. He survived at least one assassination attempt before another succeeded in late 1916.
DiCaprio, fresh off his titular role in The Great Gatsby is understandably a busy man these days. He’ll next appear on-screen in Martin Scorsese’s next project, The Wolf of Wall Street, but is also a producer on the project. He’s also producing Runner, Runner (starring Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, and Gemma Arterton) and Out of the Furnace (featuring four prior Oscar nominees plus an additional two winners) through his production company, Appian Way. All three films are due out later this year, and Appian Way will also be producing the Rasputin movie.
Expect it to be a while before the Rasputin project really gets rolling, but we will keep you appraised of all news with regards to the project as it breaks right here at mxdwn Movies.