Paramount Pictures has acquired the Peter Guralnick book Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'N' Roll for a new movie adaptation that Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star in and produce. The actor will produce with his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Paramount is currently seeking a screenwriter to adapt the project.
Deadline reports that the studio will move quickly to find a writer and a director for this project, which is the second novel adaptation Paramount has acquired for the actor this week, who recently signed a first-look deal with the studio. We reported last week that the studio picked up the rights to the book Truevine: Two Brothers, A Kidnapping, And A Mother's Quest; A True Story Of The Jim Crow South, which is based on the true story of two African-American brothers who were kidnapped and put on display as circus freaks in the 1800s. No writer has been set for that project either, but it isn't known which of these will be his follow-up to his Oscar-winning performance in The Revenant. The actor also has an adaptation of the Erik Larson book The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic And Madness At The Fair That Changed America, which has Martin Scorsese set to direct from a script by Billy Ray.
Leonardo DiCaprio will play Sam Phillips, the music producer who launched the careers of several music icons through his Memphis-based Sun Studios. Among the musicians he discovered are Elvis Presley, Ike Turner, Howlin' Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. Peter Guralnick, who also wrote Elvis Presley books Last Train To Memphis and Careless Love, will serve as a producer on this adaptation of his 2015 book.
Iconic The Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger will also serve as an executive producer, coming off his stint as an EP on HBO's Vinyl, which was cancelled after just one season. The musician was reportedly instrumental in the crafting of Vinyl, and he is expected to be a "similar asset" on this project as well. Also executive producing is Victoria Pearman, Steve Bing, Ian Montone and Rick Yorn.
The first book Paramount acquired for Appian Way is The Corporation: An Epic Story Of The Cuban American Underworld. which has Benicio Del Toro attached to star. It isn't known when any of these Appian Way adaptations will move forward first, but this Sam Phillips/Leonardo DiCaprio Project isn't expected to be his next movie.