Another day, another Leonardo DiCaprio deal. Variety reports that the busiest man in Hollywood has landed himself a new project. DiCaprio and his partners have aquired the screen rights to “Beat the Reaper,” the debut novel of Josh Bazell, with an eye towards the actor playing the lead.
The story centers on a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with a murky, raised-by-the-mob past that he tried to leave behind by joining the Witness Protection Program. His life becomes just a little more hectic when a mobster admitted as a patient recognizes him from his previous life as a hitman, and threatens to rat him out.
The story of the book’s publication is nearly enough for a movie on its own. Bazell is a medical intern, who was spending a usual night shift in scrubs as his book was at the center of an fierce bidding war between eight publishing houses. He ended up with a nice seven figures for his first book – between that and the movie deal, I think it’s safe to say you won’t find him on that night shift any longer.
DiCaprio has two movies in pre-production now, in addition to his development of “Akira,” so it’s not clear when the film might begin shooting. Given his dramatic, award-nominated turns of late, it will practically be a relief to see him in a dark, violent comedy like “Reaper.”
Does this sound like a movie you'd pick up tickets for? Let us know your thoughts on "Reaper" below, especially if you're a fan of the book.