If there’s one thing missing from Oscar season sure-fires, it’s religious mystics with highly questionable sexual behaviours. Thankfully, someone over at Warner Bros. also noticed this gap in cinema as the studio have snapped up a pitch about Rasputin, the advisor to the Russian Imperial Family. But wait, there’s more! They’ve acquired it with the intention of it being written for none other than Calvin Candie himself, Leonardo DiCaprio.
DiCaprio will star and produce the film after his interest was recently reignited in the project. Rasputin’s life was surrounded by controversy from the minute he joined The Romanovs as their personal advisor. He was brought into the fold to help the Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra with their son, Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia. Throughout this time with the family his reputation as a mystic, saint, healer, and general weirdo became an issue for his rivals, who were keen to knock him off his high horse. He was targeted for pertaining to unusual sexual antics and ended up being assassinated at the age of 47.
The original pitch comes from screenwriter Jason Hall, whose option to focus on previously unrevealed aspects of Rasputin’s life is said to be the reason DiCaprio is now so interested. Bringing an empathetic side to a figure whose name is still associated with bizarre intrigue was bound to capture interest.
Hall is making a splash in Hollywood at the minute. His adapted script, American Sniper is to be directed by Steven Spielberg and has Bradley Cooper attached to star as a Navy SEAL sniper. He could potentially be working on another adaptation for Spielberg too, Thank You For Your Service. The director is interested in rekindling his relationship with Lincoln star Daniel Day Lewis for the project. The novel by David Finkel covers the topic of post traumatic stress disorder suffered by returning war vets.
Rasputin is currently in development. Let us know in the comments what you think of DiCaprio starring.