Leonardo DiCaprio is in final negotiations to star in and produce MGM’s upcoming feature on Jonestown cult leader Jim Jones.
The appropriately titled Jim Jones biopic is penned by Scott Rosenberg (Venom) and will be produced by DiCaprio alongside Jennifer Davisson for their Appian Way production company. Rosenberg will also serve as executive producer (via Deadline).
Jones was the founder of the People’s Temple. What initially began in 1955 as a religious organization built on principals of Christianity and socialism eventually devolved into a fanatical religious cult. After becoming disillusioned with Christianity and the US government, in 1974 Jones migrated the group to Guyana, where they constructed a jungle commune known as Jonestown. Jones, who by then had publicly declared himself as God, touted the commune as a socialist paradise free from government oppression.
Amid rumors of human rights abuses, the US government sent a delegation led by US Representative Leo Ryan to Jonestown in November 1978. While there, Ryan, a news crew, and a Jonestown defector were assassinated by Jones’ followers. Soon after, Jones orchestrated a mass murder-suicide by having the commune’s 918 members drink Flavor Aid laced with cyanide.
Before he becomes Jim Jones, DiCaprio co-stars with Jennifer Lawrence in the end-of-the-world comedy Don’t Look Up, due out in theaters and Netflix on Christmas Eve. He also recently wrapped filming on Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated adaptation of Killers of the Flower Moon, which is set for release later in 2022.