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Steven Spielberg & Leonardo DiCaprio could re-team for Ulysses S. Grant film

7 days ago

I could have sworn that Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio had worked together more recently than CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, but it appears that the 2002 flick was indeed their first and only collaboration. That could change however as Deadline is reporting that the pair are in early discussions to re-team for an "epic biopic" focusing on the life of Ulysses S. Grant, the general who led the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy during the American Civil War and would later become the 18th President of the United States.

Deadline reports that Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way shingle has acquired the rights to the best-selling Ulysses S. Grant biography by Ron Chernow, which will be adapted by David James Kelly (ROBIN HOOD). At the moment, the word is that Spielberg is looking to direct with DiCaprio starring as Grant, but as I mentioned above, the discussions are still in the early stages. Even if the pair do come to an agreement, it then becomes a matter of carving out a space in their increasingly busy schedules. Steven Spielberg is set to helm INDIANA JONES 5 and WEST SIDE STORY in the coming years, with Leonardo DiCaprio about to kick off production on Quentin Tarantino's ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD as well as developing a variety of other projects including a Leonardo Da Vinci film and a Teddy Roosevelt biopic which Martin Scorsese will direct. The Ulysses S. Grant project has apparently been labeled a priority, so I'd imagine that they'll be able to make the time. Who needs sleep?

A synopsis of "Grant" via Amazon:

Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.
 
Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grant’s military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members.

More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him “the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race.” After his presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre.

Leonardo DiCaprio's ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD will hit theaters on August 9, 2019, while Steven Spielberg's next, INDIANA JONES 5, will debut on July 10, 2020.

Source: Deadline

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