Leonardo DiCaprio Developing Ian Fleming Biopic - The Real James Bond
Despite laying low for a while, Leonardo DiCaprio has quite a bit on his upcoming slate. The most recent of which to add to his growing list is a film simply titled Fleming, a biopic about the life of British author and journalist Ian Fleming. Best known as the creator of James Bond, Fleming actually had a colorful real life, working as a Reuters journalist stationed in Moscow and then a Commander of Naval Intelligence during World War II who devised innovative spying plots. The LA Times confirms that DiCaprio just became one of the producers of Fleming, but there's no official word on whether or not he'll actually act in it yet.
The script, an original screenplay written by Damian Stevenson, was completed in 2005, where Stevenson then sold it to Warner Brothers. He spent months working with their legal department debating issues of historical accuracy. Now it seems that DiCaprio is interested in the film, but is "looking to take the script in a different direction with a new writer." That's a sad story for Stevenson, but if the result is better in the end, then unfortunately it's the best way to go. The latest version of the screenplay starts on the eve of Fleming's Jamaica wedding in 1952, just before his first Bond novel, "Casino Royale," was published (a wedding present to his new wife).
Fellow producer Andrew Lazar (Death to Smoochy, Get Smart) explains that "it's going to be very different from the Bond films," which of course makes a lot of sense. "There are a lot of different ways to crack biopics, but we're not trying to emulate a Bond movie… The idea that this guy's life informed the James Bond character is pretty fascinating." Not only did Fleming have a rather exciting life, but most of the characters found in the Bond movies were inspired by people in the real world. Stevenson explains that, "no one had any idea that M was based on a real person, Miss Moneypenny was based on a real person." Neither did I!
There weren't any more details on a prospective start date, but it sounds like the project is now progressing in the hands of DiCaprio and his production company Appian Way. Just hearing about all of the details of this project has made me instantly interested. I'm a huge James Bond fan and to get a chance to see the real life story of the man who created him would undoubtedly be fascinating. Not only that, but I'm quite confident in DiCaprio as a producer as well. He seems to understand the importance and value of projects like this, that turn into something special and not just throwaway productions. We'll be sure to update you when we hear more details on casting or otherwise.