Leonardo DiCaprio to produce VW scandal film

Wolf of Wall Street actor production company places besieged German auto maker in its crosshairs

DiCaprio is an ardent environmental supporter.
DiCaprio is an ardent environmental supporter.

Leonardo DiCaprio will produce a film about the Volkswagen emissions scandal, after buying the rights to an as-yet-unwritten book about the scandal, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It is not known whether DiCaprio, a keen environmental campaigner, will star himself in the film by his production company Appian Way and Paramount Pictures.

The book proposal about the scandal is by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing and it will reportedly explore the “more, better, faster” ethos and how it played into the scandal.

The German car manufacturer has admitted that 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide are fitted with the emission-test “defeat device” software that was discovered in products sold across America.

The cheat allowed cars to pass lab tests while actually emitting 40 times the emissions standards, and VW has already recalled 500,000 cars in the US alone and set aside €6.5bn to cover costs, while CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned in the wake of the scandal.

The scandal has also wiped a third of VW's share value of its books, and Qatar Holdings has suffered a $4.5bn loss as a result of its Holding.

DiCaprio has a track record of environmental documentaries including the 2014 films: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, and Virunga, about the battle to save the last of the world’s mountain gorillas.

His environmental foundation has meanwhile given $30m in grants since it was founded in 1998.

In 2013, the actor also announced that he would enter a team in the new electric motor racing championship Formula E.

He noted: “The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles.”

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