Leo lunacy rages on.
In the latest twist to the “American Psycho” saga for Lions Gate Films, controversial director Oliver Stone is having informal talks to take the helm of the even more controversial serial-killer pic with Leonardo Di Caprio in the lead.
At the same time, the hotter-than-white-coal Di Caprio was the recipient of a $22 million offer from Aurelio Di Laurentiis’ Italian film production company for a remake of Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms.”
No details were released on the “Farewell” project. But Di Caprio’s reps at Industry Entertainment were fielding the offer. Di Laurentiis could not be reached for comment.
For “American Psycho,” Stone has read the script and met with Lions Gate reps to discuss terms. He also had a brief meeting with Di Caprio, but no deal has been struck.
Sources said that producer Ed Pressman is still talking to several other directors as well, but no names were disclosed.
Lions Gate would not comment on its search for a helmer for the pic.
Others close to the situation, however, said the Canadian company is already taking international offers on the pic with Di Caprio attached. Insiders said the company had received an $18 million offer from a Japanese distributor for that country’s rights as well as a $9 million offer from Italy’s Medusa. Those deals have not been closed yet either.
If Lions Gate is able to pre-sell enough territories at that level, the company will easily recoup the budget and the huge payment it’s expected to make to Di Caprio.
Di Caprio had been offered $21 million to take the role, but Lions Gate insiders said that the offer is being restructured to give Di Caprio a bigger back end in certain territories — like Japan — where he’s particularly popular.
Lions Gate had hoped to get the pic into production this fall. But that would be impossible for Stone, who is set to direct a football feature for Warner Bros. later this year.
Di Caprio went on the offensive two weeks ago regarding “American Psycho” to say that although he has an interest in making the pic, he is not officially attached.
The film, which is based on Bret Easton Ellis’s book of the same name, is set to be produced by Ed Pressman, Chris Hanley of Muse Prods. and Christian Halsey Solomon of Quadra Entertainment.
Mary Harron, who helmed “I Shot Andy Warhol,” had been attached in a pay-or-play deal to direct “American Psycho” from a script she co-wrote.
When Lions Gate tried to make a deal with Di Caprio to star, Harron was dropped from the pic along with Christian Bale, whom Harron and Pressman had solicited to take the lead role.
Pressman had no comment on the Stone talks. Nor did CAA, which reps Stone.