Ridley Scott, DiCaprio travel to "Brave New World"

Thu Aug 6, 2009 1:18am EDT
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By Steven Zeitchik

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Ridley Scott is going back to the futurism.

The "Blade Runner" director is joining forces with Leonardo DiCaprio to take on one of the most highly regarded dystopian works of literature, Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World."

Both are producing the Universal project, which DiCaprio would tentatively star in and Scott direct. The studio has brought on "Apocalypto" scribe Farhad Safinia to write the script; he's expected to be working shortly.

Scott has mentioned casually in interviews that he's interested in the 1931 novel, whose film rights are owned by DiCaprio's Appian Way production company, prompting a flurry of rumors on sci-fi and other blogs over the past year. But the studio details as well as DiCaprio's personal involvement always have been murky.

Now, with a writer on board and production executives meeting frequently during the past six months, the project has more momentum, though several people familiar with it emphasize that it remains at the development stage.

Much of the timing going forward will depend on the script. Scott is not committed to direct anything beyond "Robin Hood," which is in post-production. DiCaprio is shooting the Christopher Nolan adventure tale "Inception," but does not have a movie lined up after that.

"Brave" has had several go-rounds on television, including a Leonard Nimoy-Peter Gallagher picture on NBC in 1998. But Huxley's idea-rich novel hasn't had a shot on the big screen.

Huxley sets his book in a seemingly perfect 26th century world that has achieved harmony by tightly controlling birth, which takes place mainly in laboratories, and outlawing family. The world is populated by a series of five castes, each with its own defined roles.   Continued...

<p>Leonardo DiCaprio sits courtside during Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic in Los Angeles, June 7, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>