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    Leonardo DiCaprio Is The Reason Why James Dean Biopic Was Scrapped. Here’s What Happened

    In his tragically short Hollywood career, James Dean became a heartthrob and is fondly remembered to this day. The 1950s icon only starred in three films – ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ (1955), ‘East of Eden’ (1955) and ‘Giant’ (1956), but his legacy lives on. In fact, a biopic was planned by Michael Mann on Dean, but it was scrapped because of Leonardo DiCaprio.

    Mann, who was to direct the James Dean biopic, admitted that it had a “brilliant screenplay” and DiCaprio, who was 19 at the time, gave an “amazing” screen test for it. So, what was the issue?

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    Why Leonardo DiCaprio Couldn’t Do James Dean Biopic

    James Dean

    Michael Mann had planned on making a movie about the late actor James Dean, who died in a head-on car accident in September 1955. He was reportedly travelling at a speed of 85mph in his new Porsche 550 Spyder. Even though he bid the world goodbye at the age of 24, his fame reached heights that take many people a lifetime to achieve.

    In an interview with Deadline, director Mann revealed that before his 1995 crime classic film, ‘Heat’, he was supposed to direct the James Dean biopic and had his heart set on Leonardo DiCaprio to play the iconic role.

    It was a brilliant screenplay. And then it’s [the question of] who the hell could play James Dean? And I found a chap who could play James Dean, but he was too young. It was Leo,” Mann said. “We did a screen test that’s quite amazing.”

    So, what put a halt to the project? Well, it was DiCaprio’s age. He was 19 back then – five years younger than Dean when he passed away aged 24. Mann recalled, “From one angle, he totally had it with him. I mean, it’s brilliance. He would turn his face in one direction and we see a vision of James Dean. Then he’d turn his face another direction and it’s no, that’s a young kid.”

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    About DiCaprio’s Next Film With Martin Scorsese

    A still from ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon

    Leonardo DiCaprio burst onto the big screen in the 1990s. He became a household name with films like ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ (1993), ‘Romeo + Juliet’ (1996) and ‘Titanic’ (1997). His upcoming film is Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’, which is set to be released next year. This marks their fifth collaboration.

    Besides DiCaprio, the crime drama stars Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, and Lily Gladstone. The story is based on the non-fiction book by David Grann titled, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI’. It follows the true story of an investigation into a series of murders and crimes committed against an Indigenous tribe in Osage County, Oklahoma back in the 1920s.

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    Rishita Roy Chowdhury
    Rishita Roy Chowdhury
    Rishita Roy Chowdhury is the Chief Editor at First Curiosity. She has always been fascinated with the power of words and the need to follow goings on of the world. She likes to spend most of her time contemplating her existence, and escaping reality by reading, writing, and watching movies and shows. So, she made a career out of it in 2017 when she joined ScoopWhoop and extensively wrote about pop culture. To gain more experience of hardcore news, she moved on to the print arena with The Sunday Guardian newspaper where she interviewed celebrities, musicians, sportsmen, authors, chefs, and more. Her love of all things art and culture also led her to review books, movies, series, and restaurants. She tested and expanded her skills by dabbling in the digital space with India Today’s entertainment team. There, she wrote thousands of articles on the world of glitz and glamour. Now, at First Curiosity, she constantly searches and writes stories that resonate with readers and spark their interest. She also manages a team of dedicated writers who share her vision to remain sane in a crazy world with doses of entertainment.

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