Leonardo DiCaprio Is In Final Talks to Play Jim Jones, the Infamous Cult Leader Behind the Jonestown Massacre

Later this year, we’ll see Leonardo DiCaprio as a hapless scientists alongside Jennifer Lawrence in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up before he re-teams with Martin Scorsese for the historical crime drama Killers of the Flower Moon. Now it looks like DiCaprio’s lined up his next project, and it’s a doozy. He’s evidently in final talks to play Jim Jones, the nefarious cult leader behind the 1978 mass suicide in Jonestown, in which over 900 people died.

Jim Jones founded his cult in Indianapolis, which he first hailed as a sort of Christian utopia. But his religious community slowly radicalized and finally abandoned Christian teaching altogether, with Jones declaring that he was a god. He moved the commune to Guyana where he built Jonestown as a government-free paradise, but rumors of human rights abuses reached the government and U.S. Representative Leo Ryan was sent to investigate the compound with four others. The delegation was killed, and Jones orchestrated the deaths of all 918 members of the commune. Some drank cyanide-laced Kool-aid, others were injected with poison. 304 were children. Jones also had gunman stationed to prevent anyone who refused to take part in the suicide from fleeing, which is why the event is no longer characterized as a “mass suicide.”

The script is being written by Scott Rosenberg, known for movies like High Fidelity, Con Air and the most recent Jumanji movies. No director has been announced yet.

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