One of the most successful actor/director partnerships of the last decade is back. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese will reunite for their fifth collaboration. The Wolf Of Wall Street, set to begin production in New York in August, is a timely drama based on the memoir of white-collar criminal Jordan Belfort, a drug-addicted stockbroker who was indicted for security fraud and money laundering in 1998 and spent 22 months in prison.
As of now, there is no distributor, but the film will be completely financed by Red Granite Pictures and produced by Scorsese, his production head Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Irwin Winkler, Alexandra Milchan, DiCaprio, and his Appian Way partner Jennifer Killoran. Terence Winter, the chief writer of the television series Boardwalk Empire that Scorsese is involved in, will contribute the screenplay.
The Wolf Of Wall Street will be Scorsese’s fifth time direction his favorite actor of recent years after Gangs Of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), and Shutter Island (2010). With another project by the filmmaker and DiCaprio, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s book The Gambler, in the pipeline, their partnership is nearing the Scorsese/De Niro teaming – at least in terms of movies made. So far, the director has created eight with De Niro, his former male muse.
Jordan Belfort grew up on Wall Street in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After having founded the company Stratton Oakmont, he became a successful stockbroker, but his decadence and excessive, hard-partying lifestyle eventually got the better of him. Among his numerous possessions was a 37-meter yacht christened Nadine (after his second wife) that sank off the Sardinian east coast in 1997. Today, Belfort is an inspirational speaker who tours the world, resides in Los Angeles, and claims that he has been sober for 14 years.
It is hardly surprising that a director like Scorsese would want to tackle a story like Belfort’s. He has always been interested in difficult material about unlikable, megalomaniacal, and even criminal characters who cause their own downfall before eventually finding some sort of redemption. Belfort and his tale therefore fit the description of a prototypical Scorsese project that will mean a return to a more classic, adult moviemaking for the director after winning five Oscars for the 3D children’s adventure Hugo.