In Jim Jones, Leonardo DiCaprio might play the Jonestown cult leader.
The religious-movement leader staged the Jonestown mass suicide in the 1970s, which murdered over 900 of his followers.
Leonardo DiCaprio is no stranger to portraying a seductive real-life character involved in some shady operations. Following his portrayals of convicted fraudsters Frank Abagnale in Catch Me If You Can and Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio is in final negotiations to play religious cult leader Jim Jones.
According to Deadline, the namesake project has been set up at MGM with a story by Venom screenwriter Scott Rosenberg. DiCaprio has yet to formally commit to the part, but if the movie moves forward, he will produce with Jennifer Davisson via their firm Appian Way Productions, which has previously produced DiCaprio films The Revenant and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Jones is most known for arranging the Jonestown mass murder-suicide on November 18, 1978, which murdered over 900 people (approximately a third of them were children) after instructing his followers to swallow cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. Jonestown, a commune built by Jones in Guyana and marketed as a socialist paradise, was the site of the massacre. It eventually inspired the slogan “drinking the Kool-Aid.”
The Peoples Temple, a religious institution established by Jones in Indianapolis in 1955, was the starting point for the fatal day. What began as a Christian and socialist organization evolved into the jungle complex of Jonestown, where Jones crowned himself God and ruled over his followers via different manipulative methods. Prior to the tragedy, U.S. Representative Leo Ryan was entrusted with heading a mission going to Jonestown to examine allegations of human rights breaches. Jonestown gunmen finally shot Ryan and four of his delegates.
When he isn’t spawning cringeworthy Jeff Bezos tweets, DiCaprio will be seen in Netflix’s forthcoming Adam McKay comedy Don’t Look Up, starring Jennifer Lawrence, and Apple’s Martin Scorsese thriller Killers of the Flower Moon, with Lily Gladstone.
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