Published by Jeff Leins on November 22, 2010
Leonardo DiCaprio will produce and star in a film about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, based on the non-fiction book Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination.
DiCaprio, 36, would play FBI informant Jack Van Laningham, who obtained the confession of Mafia godfather Carlos Marcello to having ordered the 1963 hit on the 35th U.S. President. Marcello controlled Louisiana’s gambling network from the late ’40s through the ’70s, which embroiled him and his organized crime organization in a battle with the Kennedy family. Following the assassination, the Warren Commission concluded Marcello was not involved and did not have a connection to Dallas night club owner Jack Ruby, though a 1979 Congressional Committee acknowledged Marcello had the means and the motive for such a hit.
The book, written by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann, uses recently declassified documents from the National Archive to detail a cover-up after JFK’s death that erased the President’s plans to invade Cuba. Their story argues that such an exposure would have resulted in a nuclear conflict between the United States and Russia in the mid-60s.
Today, November 22, marks the 47th anniversary of Kennedy’s death. DiCaprio is planning to have the film finished and ready for a release on the 50th anniversary in 2013.
The press release adds, “An acclaimed director who has previously worked with Leonardo has expressed interest in directing the film.” However, with DiCaprio’s stellar career, that could point to a number of filmmakers. DiCaprio has worked with Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Sam Raimi, James Cameron (who’s already booked through 2013 on Avatar 2 and 3), Danny Boyle, Steven Spielberg, and Ridley Scott.
DiCaprio is famous for attaching himself to a multitude of movies, but his father, George, is the one who brought the book to his son’s attention and is serving as a producer on the film. Perhaps he will make this project a priority with his own family intimately involved in the process and a clear target date in mind.
In related, celebrity-watching news, the actor was aboard a flight from New York to Russia today that experienced engine failure and had to be diverted back to the airport for an emergency landing. Ironically, it was John F. Kennedy airport.