Leonardo DiCaprio to play Leonardo da Vinci in new biopic

Leo Meet Leo: Paramount, Universal Vie For Walter Isaacson Da Vinci Book For DiCaprio

Leo Meet Leo: Paramount, Universal Vie For Walter Isaacson Da Vinci Book For DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio, an undisputed genius whose many talents include acting, environmentalism, wrestling bears and looking good on the front of boats, has signed on to play Leonardo da Vinci, whose accomplishments as a painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, engineer, astronomer and mathematician are also fairly impressive in their own way. Paramount, where Appian Way's DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson have their first-look deal, was all over this one quickly, but Universal has come on gangbusters and turned it into a real two-studio race.

The biography in question was written by Walter Isaacson, who wrote the biography of Steve Jobs that eventually became the Danny Boyle-directed, Aaron Sorkin-scripted, Michael Fassbender-starring film of the same name.

Universal and Paramount are now locked in a desperate bidding war to get the film on their slate, with seven-figure sums being offered for the rights of the book with DiCaprio packaged in with the deal.

He has been named after Da Vinci, which is why he wished to play this character. According to the book, he also was a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted and at times heretical. The biopic will star fellow Leo, Leonardo DiCaprio. His last film The Revenant showed him in the role of frontiersman Hugh Glass, which earned him his first best actor Oscar. It is said that when he first kicked while his mother was pregnant with him, she was staring at a painting by this Renaissance artist at the Uffizi Gallery.