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Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in Woodrow Wilson Biopic

A. Scott Berg's 'Wilson' published last week

Warner Bros. has picked up feature rights to A. Scott Berg’s “Wilson” biography and set it up with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way banner as a potential starring vehicle for the “Great Gatsby” actor.

Producers on the project are DiCaprio, his producing partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Berg. No director is attached yet as producers plan to seek a writer first.

“Wilson” was published last week by Putnam Adult.

Wilson had been president of Princeton University between 1902 and 1910 before serving two years as the governor of New Jersey. He became president as a Democrat following the dramatic election of 1912, defeating the incumbent President William Howard Taft and past President Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as a third-party candidate.

Wilson pushed through a progressive agenda in his first term, narrowly won re-election in 1916 over Charles Hughes with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Amid Germany’s increasing belligerence, he then oversaw the U.S. joining the Allies in World War I in April, 1917.

At the end of the war, Wilson pushed for a peace treaty that included the U.S. joining the League of Nations but the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate refused to ratify the treaty.

With a year left in his second term, he suffered a stroke and his wife Edith essentially served as the chief executive during the remainder of his tenure. Wilson’s first wife had died in 1914 one year into his term and he had married Edith Galt at the White House in 1915.

Lynn Harris is overseeing “Wilson” for the studio.

DiCaprio has starred as two other notable U.S. figures in biopics — FBI chief  J. Edgar Hoover in the 2011’s “J. Edgar” and aviator Howard Hughes in 2004’s “The Aviator.”

Berg won a Pulitzer Prize for “Lindbergh,” his 1998 biography of aviator Charles Lindbergh. Berg served on Princeton University’s Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2003 and began researching “Wilson” in 2000.

An adaptation of Berg’s biography “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius,” which centers on the real-life relationship between Thomas Wolfe and Maxwell Perkins, has been in development with the Michael Grandage Co. with Michael Fassbender and Colin Firth attached to star.

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