Since he first began acting as a child in the 1970’s, few actors have amassed a resume nearly as impressive as Leonardo DiCaprio’s. With a myriad iconic roles under his belt ranging from 1995’s The Basketball Diaries to 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, the esteemed actor has established himself as one of Hollywood’s premier talents. Time and time again he is cast for one unique role after the next, and time and time again he delivers an impressive performance that enthralls moviegoers around the globe. His latest project is seemingly of no exception to that trend, with rumors swirling that DiCaprio has been enlisted to play the notorious cult leader Jim Jones in an upcoming project about the infamous South American cult he led.
Jones founded The People’s Temple in Indianapolis back in the 1950’s in an attempt to spread his beliefs regarding religious and socioeconomic practices, laying the roots of what would quickly become what is considered a cult. As his movement gained steam however it became abundantly clear that the United States may not be the ideal venue, and Jones would ultimately uproot his followers and take them to the South American country of Guyana where he could possess complete control of them. The end result would be over 900 people dead in 1978 as the byproduct of cyanide poisoning undertaken by Jones and his followers once it was realized that their mission would be coming to a screeching halt following a visit by a U.S. congressman. Now the story of Jonestown, the name Jones gave to the area of Guyana he and his followers called home, is set to be explored in a new project titled Jim Jones, and rumor has it that Leonardo DiCaprio has been cast to star in the titular role as well as produce the film. DiCaprio is additionally set to produce alongside Scott Rosenberg who wrote the screenplay, best known for his work on films such as 2000’s High Fidelity and 2018’s Venom.
The history of cults in the United States is well documented, and Jonestown is a big reason for that. The events that transpired in 1978 left the world in shock, leaving many to question how so many people can fall victim to the power of one evil man. But that’s exactly how a cult thrives: through a charismatic leader that wins over his followers via either charm or force. Moviegoers will just have to find out for themselves as more details emerge in the near future about the upcoming film Jim Jones.