Leonardo DiCaprio, Barry Jenkins and Netflix are collaborating on a movie version of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Virunga” about the battle to save the Congo’s endangered mountain gorillas.
DiCaprio is producing with Jennifer Davisson and Phillip Watson for Appian Way, along with Joanna Natasegara for Violet Films. Orlando von Einsiedel, who directed the 2014 documentary, is executive producing the pic.
Jenkins, who won an adapted screenplay Oscar with Tarell Alvin McCraney for “Moonlight,” will write the script for “Virunga.”
The documentary “Virunga” focused on the fight to protect the world’s last mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Von Einsiedel spotlighted the biodiversity of Virunga, along with the political and economic issues arising from oil exploration and armed conflict in the region. Netflix bought the rights to the documentary in 2014.
DiCaprio won an Academy Award for “The Revenant.” In addition to a prolific acting career, he produced “Robin Hood,” “Richard Jewell” and the 2016 documentary “The Ivory Game” about the poaching of elephants in Africa.
Jenkins was nominated for a directing Oscar for “Moonlight” and an adapted screenplay Oscar for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” He wrote the script for the boxing biopic “Flint Strong” about Claressa “T-Rex” Shields — Rachel Morrison’s directorial debut. The news about “Virunga” was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.