Is Leonardo DiCaprio doing too many biopics?


Leonardo DiCaprio is teaming up with Martin Scorsese for a biopic on a famous American. So what’s new?

The year was 1995, and young Leo DiCaprio had been cast to play troubled poet Arthur Rimbaud in the career-boosting yet deeply flawed film Total Eclipse.

Little did he know that many, many more biopics would follow.

Some of them good, some of them bad – but mostly just a waste of the actor’s talent.

The problem with biopics is that they’re always hit and miss.

For every gripping Howard Hughes, there is a mediocre J Edgar Hoover peeking just around the corner.

Image:
DiCaprio as mad man Howard Hughes in Scorsese’s The Aviator

For every fresh take on a dead white male, there’s a by-the-book approach which makes us yawn and look at our phones in search of something more interesting.

On Wednesday, Paramount confirmed DiCaprio was teaming up with Scorsese once again – but not for a Joker origins film.

Instead, they will be taking on the much talked about adaptation of Roosevelt.

The film, which had been DiCaprio’s passion project for a while, combines his two favourite things in the world: saving the environment and playing historical figures.

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio
Image:
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio can’t get enough of each other

Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, was a naturalist. He was the president of national parks and forests.

Most interesting, perhaps, was his layered and complicated persona – often insecure but always determined.

Once mocked for his inability to properly ride a horse, Mr Roosevelt is now remembered for his “cowboy” facade.

He was also the youngest-ever president in America’s history, and will no doubt be a much more suited role for the actor than playing a youngish version of a Batman foe.

But this is the third film in pre-production where the actor plays a real-life character.

In The Killers Of The Flower Moon, DiCaprio is rumoured to be reprising his J Edgar Hoover character – only this time with Scorsese behind the lens.

In The Black Hand, he will be playing real-life policeman Joe Petrosino, fighting gangsters in New York.

J Edgar
Image:
DiCaprio as FBI director Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s patchy drama J Edgar

And this is all happening because Scorsese finally decided to scrap the Frank Sinatra biopic he had planned for Leo this year.

One person on Twitter wrote: “Quick do we think Leo DiCaprio will play every white man ever before he dies?”

Another said: “HOT TAKE: DiCaprio does too many biopics.”

And another added: “I just wish Leo spent more of his time with created characters, just my personal preference.”

But some were quick to reach the most sensible conclusion: “Oscar.”

It was, after all, the depiction of real-life explorer Hugo Glass which brought DiCaprio the Academy Award he was longing for.

Who knows, maybe he will do it again.



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