Leonardo DiCaprio likes to have options. That’s why in the year since “The Revenant,” he’s lined up a handful of projects — “Conquest,” “Truevine,” a Sam Phillips biopic — but hasn’t gone into production on anything just yet. But the actor has great taste and waits until all the elements are just right before anything starts filming, which makes this next potential project have particularly strong appeal.
Variety reports that DiCaprio will produce and star in an adaptation of Stephan Talty‘s upcoming book “The Black Hand: The Epic War Between A Brilliant Detective And The Deadliest Secret Society In American History.” The based-on-a-true-story tale will follow a New York City cop at the turn of the 20th century trying to stop fearsome criminal enterprise The Black Hand from gripping the city. Here’s the book synopsis:
The gripping true story of the origins of the mafia in America — and the brilliant Italian-born detective who gave his life to stop it
Beginning in the summer of 1903, an insidious crime wave filled New York City, and then the entire country, with fear. The children of Italian immigrants were kidnapped, and dozens of innocent victims were gunned down. Bombs tore apart tenement buildings. Judges, senators, Rockefellers, and society matrons were threatened with gruesome deaths. The perpetrators seemed both omnipresent and invisible. Their only calling card: the symbol of a black hand. The crimes whipped up the slavering tabloid press and heated ethnic tensions to the boiling point. Standing between the American public and the Black Hand’s lawlessness was Joseph Petrosino. Dubbed the “Italian Sherlock Holmes,” he was a famously dogged and ingenious detective, and a master of disguise. As the crimes grew ever more bizarre and the Black Hand’s activities spread far beyond New York’s borders, Petrosino and the all-Italian police squad he assembled raced to capture members of the secret criminal society before the country’s anti-immigrant tremors exploded into catastrophe. Petrosino’s quest to root out the source of the Black Hand’s power would take him all the way to Sicily—but at a terrible cost.
No screenwriter or director have been attached yet, so it’s yet another DiCaprio vehicle that’s on a slow simmer, but it sure sounds like a potentially great one.