In news that’s probably got someone at the Academy Awards engraving his name on the Best Actor trophy already, Deadline reports that Leonardo DiCaprio is in final negotiations to produce and star in a movie about infamous cult leader Jim Jones.
MGM have already swooped in to secure the rights to the project in a multi-million dollar deal, with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Next Level and Venom co-writer Scott Rosenberg having penned the script. For those unaware, Jones was behind the Jonestown mass suicide of November 1978, which saw over 900 people take their own lives.
The zealot founded the People’s Temple in 1955 as a means to promote what he called Christian socialism, but by the mid-1970s he was claiming that he was god, constructing the Jonestown settlement in Guyana and convincing hundreds of people to join him, which led to a government delegation being murdered under grounds of trespassing.
Jones orchestrated the murder suicide by having his followers drink Flavor Aid mixed with cyanide, resulting in 918 deaths, over 300 of whom were children. It’s an awful story, as well as one of the most shocking incidents of the modern era, and the movie promises to be an uncompromising and uncomfortable examination of an unspeakable tragedy.