According to Deadline, Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio are in talks to resurrect the long-in-the-works adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir The Wolf Of Wall Street, which chronicles the exorbitant excesses and underhanded methods of 1990s-era stockbrokers. The project has been kicking around for a couple years now with DiCaprio attached, and was originally planned as a Martin Scorsese film. Instead its development became bogged down with a dispute between Warner Bros. and Paramount, at which point Scorsese and DiCaprio went on to make Shutter Island. Should Scott take on the film, he would reportedly still be using the original script by Terence Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire). What remains in question is the scheduling, as Scott’s priority remains the Alien prequel, while DiCaprio’s next move is playing J. Edgar Hoover for Clint Eastwood.
Although Belfort’s scandal took place in the early ‘90s, it obviously has timely parallels to the current woes of the financial system. Much like Ponzi scheme-pushing stockbroker Bernie Madoff, Belfort built his empire out of crooked trading. Belfort’s appetite for luxury was also legendary, and he became infamous for spending huge sums of ill-begotten money on sex, drugs, and trips around the world. While he was criticized and reprimanded for his ethics, however, Belfort’s memoir prompted some cautious praise of his ingenuity, however reprehensible it may have been, proving again that while the public hates to be cheated by swindlers in suits, we love hearing about how they did it.