In many interviews, Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio had shown interest to portray Vladimir Lenin. On 22nd October, 2018 a Facebook page called CinemaKitchen uploaded a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio with the movie title “Lenin” and with the sub-headline “A Steven Spielberg Film”. Spielberg and DiCaprio is said to join together to make a biopic. But will it be Lenin’s?
Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio is said to portray Vladimir Lenin in a biopic to be made by Steven Spielberg. However, all this is based on a movie poster.
The poster also states that the movie is coming to cinemas very soon. But is it? Back in 2016, on an interview with German newspaper Welt, Leonardo DiCaprio said he felt there should be more films about Russian history and expressed his interest to play President Vladimir Putin, mystic Rasputin and Communist Party founder Vladimir Lenin. Before that, in 2010, he showed interest to play Joseph Stalin as well.
DiCaprio’s interview with Welt didn’t go unnoticed. Lenfilm, Russia’s oldest film studio expressed interest to cast DiCaprio as Lenin. Stating similarities between DiCaprio and Lenin, Lenfilm press secretary Valery Karpov said in an interview, “DiCaprio is frequently compared to how Lenin looked in his youth. We have enough props to recreate the time of the [Bolshevik] revolution”.
Another Russian director, screenwriter and producer Vladimir Bortko said he’d be ready to direct the movie if DiCaprio asked him.
However, St Petersburg’s Communist Party were not happy with such interests. One of the party’s leaders Sergey Malinkovich organized a protest where they burned DiCaprio’s photo. According to them, DiCarprio’s lifestyle doesn’t match with Lenin and earlier said they would take actions if a Russian isn’t given the role. DiCaprio on the other end has Russian roots through his maternal grandmother.
Moreover, before Leonardo expressed his interest to portray Lenin in 2016, Russian scriptwriter Alexander Borodyansky wanted to cast DiCaprio as Lenin in his comedy “The Brain of Lenin” back in 3rd August 2008 because of his similarities with Lenin and his Russian roots. The film was never made.
Using TinEye reverse imaging, FactWatch was able to trace back to the origin of the movie poster. Back in 22nd October, 2017 Russian journalist Ivan Safronov tweeted poster pictures of a “Lenin” film where we see Robert Downey Jr as Bolshevik Chairman Yakov Sverdlov, Leonardo DiCaprio as Vladimir Lenin, Daniel Radcliffe as Lenin’s rival Leon Trotsky and Francois Arnaud as Joseph Stalin. The film was shown to be made by Steven Spielberg and was coming soon or were in cinemas.
Needless to say, no official news about this could be found and none of the actors and Spielberg’s profile shows any connections with this film. But, according to Variety, DiCaprio and Spielberg will join hands to make the biopic of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States. Hence, Leonardo DiCaprio is not playing Vladimir Lenin for now as the poster is fan made and is untrue.