Fresh off his best supporting actor Oscar nomination, Leonardo DiCaprio has been inked to star in “The Basketball Diaries,” Island Pictures confirmed Friday. Helmer Scott Kalvert will make his feature directorial debut on the pic.Adapted by screenwriter Bryan Goluboff, the project is based on the life of Jim Carroll, a streetwise kid from New York who is sidetracked by the lure of narcotics. It is based on Carroll’s diaries from the ages of 13 to 16. Headed by Chris Blackwell, Island Pictures has been involved in such projects as “Kiss of the Spider Woman,””She’s Gotta Have It” and “Bagdad Cafe.” Recently, Island was behind the movie “The Lunatic.” To be produced by Liz Heller and executive produced by Dan Genetti, the pic is tentatively set to start a 42-day shoot in New York on March 14. Budget is estimated in the $ 4 million range. Casting for three male co-stars and several key cameo roles are expected to be announced during the next two weeks.
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