Barry Jenkins and Leonardo DiCaprio join forces for Virunga doc adaptation

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Barry Jenkins, Leonardo DiCaprio, Virunga

Barry Jenkins, whose influential work includes directing such riveting features as MOONLIGHT and IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, is partnering with Leonardo DiCaprio for Netflix's narrative adaptation of the Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga.

Released in 2014, Virunga was directed by Orlando von Einsiedel and executive produced by DiCaprio. Focusing on the conservation work of park rangers within the Congo's Virunga National Park, the doc highlights the group's tireless efforts to save the Congo’s mountain gorilla population.

Jenkins, who's currently hard at work on his upcoming Amazon TV series THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, will write the screenplay for Virunga. Meanwhile, DiCaprio will produce alongside  Jennifer Davisson and Phillip Watson via their Appian Way studio, with Joanna Natasegara also producing by way of Violet Films. In addition to his directorial duties, von Einsiedel will also executive produce.

With regard to other projects of which Jenkins is involved, the filmmaker is also set to pen FLINT STRONG for director Rachel Morrison. The story revolves around Claressa 'T-Rex' Shields, a boxer from Flint, Michigan who trained to become the first woman in her country's history to win an Olympic gold medal in the sport.

Here's hoping that with such afluent names attached to the Virunga adaptation that the group fighting for the preservation of the Congo's mountain gorilla get some well-deserved facetime with audiences and then some.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.