MGM Studios has gotten their hands on Jim Jones, with their eyes on Leonardo Dicaprio in the upcoming feature film based on the infamous cult leader who orchestrated the Jonestown mass suicide on November 18, 1978, that horrifically took more than 900 lives. The Oscar winner will star as the psychopath and produce for his Appian Way company alongside Jennifer Davisson.
MGM Studios just acquired the Scott Rosenberg-penned script in what Deadline’s sources said to be a seven-figure deal. The Venom writer will also serve as an executive producer for Jim Jones.
About Jim Jones
Jim Jones founded the Peoples Temple in Indianapolis in 1955 and praised it as a fully integrated congregation promoting Christian Socialism. By the time the 1970s rolled in, he openly rejected traditional Christianity and falsely claimed himself to be God. He constructed Jonestown in Guyana in 1974 and managed to manipulate a following to live with him there as he sold the idea of a socialist paradise free from U.S. government oppression.
In the midst of rumors surrounding abuses of human rights, the American government sent a delegation led by U.S. Representative Leo Ryan in November 1978. Ultimately, Ryan accompanied by four others, succumbed to tragic fates as they were slain by Jones’ disciples. Following the shooting, Jim Jones orchestrated a mass murder-suicide of his followers, which claimed the lives of 918 commune members, 304 of them children, in an act that involved drinking Flavor Aid poisoned with cyanide.
DiCaprio, Appian Way and MGM Continue To Rise
You will find Dicaprio starring in Netflix’s upcoming Adam McKay comedy Don’t Look Up alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, and Ariana Grande among others. He will also be starring in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon for Apple Originals Films. DiCaprio has been nominated at the Oscars seven times and finally won Best Actor for 2016’s The Revenant.
With Jim Jones, MGM continues driving down the theatrical route. The studio has garnered many fighting chances this awards season with major contenders like Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci on November 24, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza on November 26, and Joe Wright’s feature musical Cyrano set for December 31. Their 25th James Bond movie, No Time to Die, is closing in on the $700 million global gross mark, the second highest-grossing title of the pandemic behind Universal’s F9.
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Dicaprio is an amazing talent with a knack for innovativeness. As an actor and producer, DiCaprio’s movies have earned over $7.9 billion worldwide. Since Appian Way launched, Dicaprio has delivered a wide range of movies including Alejandro González Iñárritu’s three-time Academy Award and Golden Globe winner The Revenant, Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street and Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning The Aviator. Other credits include Peabody winner Sea of Shadows, Shutter Island, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, and George Clooney’s Golden Globe-nominated The Ides of March. Appian currently is in production on Shining Girls for Apple+ starring Elizabeth Moss.
Appian Way has been succeeding at leaving its mark on the documentary world, most especially with projects pertaining to progressive and lasting environmental change. Recently, it collaborated in partnership with the History Channel on Grant, and National Geographic to produce Before the Flood. It also collaborated with Netflix on the Oscar-nominated Virunga, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, and Kip Anderson’s Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. Appian is in partnership with Netflix on several additional documentaries including The Ivory Game, How to Change the World, and Catching the Sun. Recently released projects include Ice on Fire with HBO, And We Go Green for Hulu, Eli Roth’s Fin for Discovery+ and The Loneliest Whale.
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