Variety is reporting that Leonardo DiCaprio will play FBI informant Jack Van Laningham in the feature Legacy of Secrecy from the book by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann about the John F. Kennedy assassination.
Legacy of Secrets will be produced by DiCaprio's Appian Way and Warner Bros. with his father, George, who brought the book to his son's attention. Earl Katz will serve as executive producer for Appian Way. Warner Bros. is looking towards a target release in 2013 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination.
The full title of the book is Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination. The book asserts that Mafia godfather Carlos Marcello confessed to Van Laningham to having ordered JFK's assassination. The story will follow Van Laningham during his deep undercover operation in which he becomes confidant to Marcello, who ruled organized crime in Louisiana and most of Texas for decades.
Declassified FBI files from the National Archives that detail the FBI's undercover operation were used as the basis for the book. Information from FBI and Secret Service files showing that more than a dozen of Marcello's associates and family members were questioned or arrested by authorities in assocation with the JFK assassination were also used in the book. This will be the first time that Marcello, who died in 1993, will be the subject of a feature film. The 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations stated that mobster Santo Trafficante and Marcello
"had the motive, means, and opportunity to assassinate President Kennedy."
Waldron is retaining documentary film and TV rights to the book as part of the deal, which also alludes that the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Watergate break-in were orchestrated by the mafia. Appian Way will also be producing additional documentary films based on the book.
I have always been fascinated with the events surrounding JFK's assassination. I loved DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can and The Aviator, both of which are great period pieces. This is truly the type of film that DiCaprio thrives in and will definitely be on that I am excited to learn more about.
What are your thoughts?