Saturday, June 15, 2024

Meet the Beetles: Leonardo DiCaprio Will Make a Movie About Volkswagen’s Diesel Scandal


It doesn’t sound very exciting. But Leonardo diCaprio is going to produce a movie for Paramount about the current Volkswagen diesel scandal. I think he should call it “Meet the Beetles.”

diCaprio is an avowed environmentalist, so this obviously interests him. Dramatically, I’m not sure how much the movie going audience wants to see a bunch of Germans plotting to change computer codes in a fraction of their autos.

But maybe it will be told from an American dealer’s point of view. Or an animated film with a lot of cute VW Beetles discussing how they’ve been tampered with.

The movie is going to be based on as yet unwritten book, based on a book proposal by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing. So that will be quite a while from now. We’re still waiting for the movie about the Firestone tire scandal, and that at least posed more of a danger to the general public. Michael Douglas is attached to produce that movie. He’s too old to star in it, now. That’s how long it’s taken.

If I were Leo, I’d film a documentary while Ewing writes his book. That’s the movie. Otherwise the whole thing will seem a little Passat by the time he makes a feature. Passat, get it?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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