Sixteen years after they teamed up on “Catch Me If You Can,” Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg are in early talks to star in and direct a biopic, respectively, about the life of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, two individuals with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
The Lionsgate project will adapt the biography “Grant” by Ron Chernow, with DiCaprio already set to produce through his Appian Way banner after the rights to the book were picked up in November. DiCaprio could also star as Grant, with Spielberg as director. It would be the second film about the Civil War that Spielberg has directed, following 2012’s “Lincoln.”
Chernow, who also wrote the Alexander Hamilton biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical “Hamilton,” will be an executive producer on the project. Appian Way’s Jennifer Davisson will produce with DiCaprio.
When production would be able to start on this project is uncertain, as both Spielberg and DiCaprio have very crowded schedules. Spielberg is planning to start production on a fifth “Indiana Jones” film next year, and is also planning a remake of the famous musical “West Side Story,” which is currently auditioning for roles. He has also announced that he is planning to make his first comic book movie based on the DC World War II-era superhero Blackhawk.
DiCaprio, meanwhile, will star in Quentin Tarantino’s next film, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” and is also developing other projects with Appian Way, including a Teddy Roosevelt biopic for Paramount that Martin Scorsese is attached to direct.