October 13, 2015
Recently we compared the scandal at Volkswagen to a Martin Scorsese film in that both stories involved a great rise and an even greater fall. In that comparison, we also remarked on the parallel paths of now-deposed VW CEO Martin Winterkorn and Jordan Belfort—little did we realize that the actor who portrayed Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street may do the same for Winterkorn on the big screen as well. Potentially, that is. Five-time Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio is partnering with Paramount Pictures to develop a film based on the Volkswagen emission scandal. The movie is said to focus on the drama at VW once it was discovered that the company cheated on emissions tests. DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, purchased the films rights to a forthcoming book by New York Times writer Jack Ewing that tells the story of Volkswagen executives and engineers before, during and after the discovery of emissions test cheats by U.S. regulators. Ewing, who has been covering the Volkswagen emissions scandal for the Times, sold the proposed VW expose to W.W. Norton & Company for a reported six-figure sum. A project like this Volkswagen film is right up DiCaprio’s alley, as he has long been a staunch environmentalist who’s well known for his love of Tesla electric vehicles. In addition to donating millions to various environmental organizations, he founded his own nonprofit group, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, dedicated to protecting endangered species and preventing climate change. Given the exceedingly high nitrous oxide emissions of Volkswagen diesel vehicles, we imagine that a DiCaprio-produced film will frown on the automaker’s actions quite severely. No names aside from DiCaprio’s have been attached to the project as of yet, so stay tuned.