By Jessica Kiang | The Playlist July 24, 2010 at 6:46AM
In a development that doubtless has to do with scheduling conflicts or something equally innocent, it appears that Leonardo DiCaprio may be detaching himself from gestating project “The Vikings,” which was to have been directed by Mel Gibson, whose unfortunate telephone manner has been making headlines of late.
Ted Casablanca at E! Online, writing in his patented giddy teenage girl argot (we are encouraged to see “Inception” partly so we can “drool over the way gorge supporting cast”) reports that one of his “most knowledgeable L.D. spies” said “I doubt Leo would do it, especially after this” and went on to assure him that Leo is not at all down with what Mel has been up to recently. Another “source deep inside Camp DiCaprio,” or possibly the same one, there is really no way to tell, also distanced the "Inception" star from the project, but in more practical terms saying “there’s not even a script yet, so it’s not real... Nothing has been settled.”
But really, the project is probably dead for now because no one wants to come within five inches of Gibson. And really unless he somehow, miraculously, comes back into Hollywood's good graces, don't expect A-list talent to line up to work with him.
But the real bit of news here, also revealed by Casablanca, is that DiCaprio is eying a new project to be written and directed by swoonsome George Clooney -- now there’s a guy who can threaten us with sexual violence and arson any day! Higgedy higgedy, yowzas etc (Dear Christ, it’s catching). Anyway, entitled “Farragut North” it's an adaptation of a political play by Beau Willimon, that is loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary run of Howard Dean. According to the plot rundown at Wikipedia, the story concerns Stephen, "a wunderkind press secretary who has built a career that men twice his age would envy. During a tight presidential primary race, however, Stephen's meteoric rise falls prey to the backroom politics of more seasoned operatives, and his one night stand with a teenage staffer proves to be more complicated than casual. Farragut North is a classic tale of hubris set against a contemporary landscape – about the lust for power and the costs one will endure to achieve it." Sounds more like the story of John Edwards, amirite?
Clooney and DiCaprio have apparently already met about the project and done a couple of readings. 'North' is set up at Warner Bros. under DiCapario's Appian Way shingle.
Obvs, no word on if/when that project will get in front of cameras. But the potential pairing of Clooney/DiCaprio!?!?!? ZOMG. Sorry Team Edward ceiling posters! You're being replaced!