Leonardo DiCaprio Signs Up to Play Cult Leader Jim Jones

Sony Pictures Releasing

Leonardo DiCaprio is in final talks to play Jim Jones, the infamous religious cult leader who, in 1978, ordered a mass murder-suicide that saw the deaths of over 900 members, including hundreds of children.

MGM has picked up the project, titled Jim Jones, which comes with a screenplay by Venom, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and High Fidelity scribe Scott Rosenberg, also on board as executive producer. DiCaprio is on board to star and produce via his Appian Way production banner, with Appian partner Jennifer Davisson producing as well.

Still no director named for this one, although you can expect one to be announced soon now that MGM has grabbed it. As per Deadline, the studio acquired Jim Jones in a deal numbering in the seven figures.

It’s an infuriating, devastating, deeply tragic moment in history. In 1955, Jones founded a religious organisation that would become the Peoples Temple, which combined elements of Christianity with communist and socialist ideology. He began building Jonestown in Guyana in 1974, convincing many of his followers to join him there with promises that he was crafting a socialist paradise away from U.S. government oppression.

In ’78, U.S. representative Leo Ryan led a delegation to Jonestown to investigate reports of human rights abuses. Ryan and four others were murdered by Jonestown gunmen as they boarded a flight to leave. Back at the remote jungle commune, Jones then orchestrated a murder-suicide that took the lives of 918 commune members, 304 of them children, almost all by drinking Flavor Aid laced with cyanide.

DiCaprio’s upcoming credits also include Netflix film Don’t Look Up and Martin Scorsese picture Killers of the Flower Moon.

Get SCREEN REALM’s weekly updates!

About Guillermo Troncoso

Guillermo is the Manager and Chief Editor of Screen Realm. He has years of experience in the media space - from network television to radio. When not at a local Sydney cinema, you can bet he's working hard on Screen Realm and attempting to catch up on a never-ending list of movies and shows.

Find him on Twitter, Instagram, and join Guillermo and his better half, Cassandra, on their YouTube channel, Loud Observers.

View all posts by Guillermo Troncoso