‘Patrick Melrose’ Director To Helm Volkswagon Scandal Project | Film News
Director Edward Berger (Patrick Melrose) has been tapped to helm a film about Volkswagon’s Clean Diesel scandal. Leonardo DiCaprio is producing the film for Paramount and Appian Way. Per Collider, Charles Randolph (The Big Short) is writing the script, and the film is being developed as a prestige project.
DiCaprio’s Appian Way teamed with Paramount to acquire the rights to Jack Ewing‘s book Faster Higher Farther: The Inside Story of the Volkswagen Scandal back when it was just a four-page proposal Ewing had sold to publisher Norton in a six-figure deal. Faster, Higher, Farther may end up being the title of the movie as well.
The scandal led to the resignation of Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn, who allegedly knew that his company had placed illegal software known as “defeat devices” in their Clean Diesel cars. Reportedly, these devices could tell when a car was being tested for fuel emissions, and would turn on the emission controls to cheat the test and meet EPA standards.
The fallout of the scandal sent Volkswagon’s stock plunging. The ultimate cost to the company is estimated to be around $30 billion in repairs, fines, and customer reimbursements. DiCaprio is a longtime environmentalist, so naturally this story touched a nerve with him.
Berger’s career has gotten buzz thanks to his work on Showtime’s Patrick Melrose mini-series. He’s already slated to re-team with star Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal on the indie movie Rio. Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) was previously attached to direct the film.
Those projects don’t have the wide scope and themes of rampant capitalism and corruption this one does, so it’s hard to tell if Berger is a good fit here or not. DiCaprio hasn’t yet proven to be as good of a producer as actor either, with his producing projects relatively hit and miss.
However, with a vested interest in the real-life Volkswagon scandal, this should be a project he is heavily involved in.
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