MGM has clinched a deal for the feature film project Jim Jones, with Leonardo DiCaprio in final negotiations to play the 1970s religious cult leader who was responsible for the Jonestown mass suicide on November 18, 1978, which claimed the lives of over 900 people. Jennifer Davisson will produce for the Oscar winner’s Appian Way production firm.
MGM reportedly paid a seven-figure sum for the Scott Rosenberg-penned script. Jim Jones will be executive produced by the writer of Venom.
According to Deadline, Jones established the Peoples Temple in Indianapolis in 1955, hailing it as a fully integrated Christian Socialism congregation. He publicly renounced orthodox Christianity and claimed to be God by the 1970s. In 1974, he built Jonestown in Guyana and drew a crowd to live with him there as he promoted a socialist utopia free of US government persecution.
In November 1978, the US government dispatched a mission led by US Representative Leo Ryan in response to allegations of human rights violations. Jones’ disciples will eventually assassinate Ryan and four other people. Following the incident, Jones arranged a mass murder-suicide of his followers, killing 918 commune members, 304 of whom were children, in an activity involving the consumption of cyanide-laced Flavor Aid.
Next up for DiCaprio is the Adam McKay comedy Don’t Look Up, in which he co-stars with Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, and Ariana Grande. He also has a role in Apple Originals Films’ Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Martin Scorsese. DiCapri.
Beautiful Girls, Con Air, High Fidelity, Gone in 60 Seconds, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Jumanji: The Next Level is among Rosenberg’s movie writing credits. He’s an executive producer on a number of projects, including the forthcoming miniseries Citadel, Epix/From, MGM’s Netflix’s live-action series Cowboy Bebop, and Hulu’s High Fidelity. WME and Sloane, Offer represent Rosenberg.