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Leo catches ‘Waves’

DeVincentis to adapt surf bio for Appian

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way banner has optioned feature rights to “All for a Few Perfect Waves,” David Rensin’s upcoming bio of surfer Miki Dora, with DiCaprio eyeing the central role.

“High Fidelity” scribe D.V. DeVincentis will adapt the oral biography. Appian optioned the book from a proposal that Rensin, author of “The Mailroom,” sent to publishers earlier this month. Book will be published by William Morrow in 2006.

Project falls under Appian’s first-look deal with Initial Entertainment. DiCaprio and Appian prexy Brad Simpson will produce, with Rensin as co-producer and Barry Rosen as exec producer.

Dora, who was credited with sparking Malibu’s surfing subculture during the 1950s and ’60s, was also a seductive prankster who had a fickle relationship with his public persona. Frustrated with the exploitation of the surfing lifestyle, he dropped out at the end of the 1960s. In the early 1980s, he was arrested for check fraud and spent time in French and American jails.

Simpson described Dora as “part Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild Ones,’ part Sid Vicious and part Cary Grant, all in board shorts. He would crash Hollywood parties, charm all the guests and leave with the most extraordinary girl on his arm and a collection of filched credit cards in his pocket.”

Filmmakers such as Art Linson and John Milius previously have tried to bring Dora’s story to the screen. However, the surfer made a habit of teasing producers, announcing that he was ready to see a film made of his life and entertaining offers, only to later pull away. Dora died of cancer in January 2002.

Rosen brought the project to Appian, which worked with the Firm to persuade Rensin’s William Morris agents to show them his proposal before it went to publishers. Appian optioned the proposal through its deal with Initial and immediately approached DeVincentis, an accomplished surfer, to handle the adaptation.

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