Skip to main content

Leonardo DiCaprio Playing Russian Mystic Rasputin In Biopic

Leonardo DiCaprio has some good experience playing historical figures, including Howard Hughes and J. Edgar Hoover, but that doesn't make news about the actor being attached to a biopic of the Russian mystic Rasputin any less strange.

Deadline says that Warner Bros. – which has an excellent and long-standing relationship with the Great Gatsby star – just picked up a pitch for a Rasputin film by screenwriter Jason Hall (American Sniper) that would cast DiCaprio as the infamous adviser to the Russian Imperial family, the Romanovs, in the early 1900s.

Rasputin was a peasant who claimed to have powers of prediction. Many considered him to be a “dark” influence on Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Aleksandra. In fact, the suspicion and distrust led to Rasputin’s murder in 1916. The “mad monk,” as he was dubbed, has had multiple movies based on his powerful run through Russia, though the trade says that Hall has unearthed new details about the mysterious figure that caught DiCaprio’s eye. It’s likely that the movie will document Rasputin’s historic final day on Earth, when he suffered – and survived – multiple murder attempts until he finally was thrown into the Neva River.

Two of DiCaprio's most notable historic dramas, The Aviator and Gangs of New York were directed by Martin Scorsese, so is there any chance he could lure his Wolf of Wall Street director to this Rasputin project? Perhaps, if the script is solid enough. Though Scorsese’s about to move on to Silence, so a Rasputin movie would probably be out for the time being.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.