Leonardo DiCaprio in final talks to play infamous cult leader Jim Jones

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

Leonardo DiCaprio is in final talks to star as infamous cult leader Jim Jones in the upcoming MGM biopic.

Jim Jones was founder of the religious cult the Peoples Temple, originally based in the United States. Jones relocated to Jonestown, Guyana, with his followers in the '70s and, in '78, a delegation led by U.S. Representative Leo Ryan went to the community following claims of human rights abuses. Ryan and four others were shot dead by Jones' followers, after being received warmly the day before. 

Jones then organized the mass murder by suicide that became known as the Jonestown Massacre, which involved people drinking poisoned Flavor Aid. The tragedy killed over 900 people, and is the origin of the phrase "drink the Kool Aid." See History.com's summary of events for more on what happened.

Deadline broke news of DiCaprio's casting, and also reports that he will be producing with Jennifer Davisson. Con Air and Venom writer Scott Rosenberg penned the script, which was reportedly nabbed by the studio for seven figures. Rosenberg will also executive produce.

DiCaprio can next be seen in Netflix's Don't Look Up, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Kate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep. The film releases on Netflix this December 24, following a limited theatrical release on December 10. DiCaprio will also be playing Ernest Burkhart in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon.

No further casting information has been revealed just yet on the Jim Jones film, and there's no director attached or release date, either. While we wait for more updates, check out our roundup of all the next few months' upcoming major movie release dates.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.