If there is one thing that Leonardo DiCaprio likes, it is an excuse to grow out a gross, weird beard and go someplace terrible and inhospitable. Fortunately for him, he has been announced to be starring in a new movie titled The Wager, directed by frequent collaborator and legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. The film is based on an incident in 1741 in which a British warship was wrecked along the coast of Chile, kickstarting a series of events that involved starvation, mutiny, enslavement, murder, mutiny, and worst of all, a court battle in the British legal system. The Wager will be Leonardo Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese’s seventh feature film collaboration.
Per Variety, Leonardo Dicaprio will be starring in The Wager, but it is not clear what role he will be playing. The captain of the historical HMS Wager was named David Cheap, and it seems likely he will be the lead role. After the Wager was shipwrecked, a contingent of the crew mutinied against Captain Cheap (presumably opportunity for scenes of heavily bearded, filthy men attacking a heavily born and filthy Leonardo Dicaprio), who set out with a number of loyal men on a smaller boat. Essentially, two different groups of survivors eventually made it back to England, where they both accused each other of various crimes, including murder.
The film is being adapted from the upcoming non-fiction book The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Murder by journalist David Grann. The Wager incident has inspired many books and stories and is one of the more well-known shipwrecks in history. David Grann also wrote Killers of the Flower Moon, which Leonardo Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese also adapted; that film is in post-production and is scheduled to be released in May of 2023. It is based on a series of murders in the 1920s in Oklahoma that was investigated by a young J. Edgar Hoover (who Leonardo Dicaprio previously portrayed in the 2011 Clint Eastwood movie J. Edgar). Killers of the Flower Moon will also co-star frequent Martin Scorsese collaborator Robert De Niro, making it their tenth film together. Seems like Leonardo Dicaprio is going to have to pick up the pace a little.
Prior to Killers of the Flower Moon and The Wager, Leonardo Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese collaborated on Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, and The Wolf of Wall Street. The latter movie is the most commercially successful of Martin Scorsese’s films, while working with a respected filmmaker like Scorsese gave Leonardo Dicaprio a boost of critical respectability in his post-Titanic years. Clearly, this has been a fruitful partnership for both men, so it will not be surprising at all when they continue to announce more and more historical films together.
Most recently, Leonardo DiCaprio appeared with Jennifer Lawrence in the Netflix satire Don’t Look Up, by director Adam McKay. It seems like DiCaprio is ready to get back to acting in some harsh environments around gross men, so all is right in the world.