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In the Works: David O. Russell to Direct Leonardo DiCaprio's JFK Conspiracy Thriller 'Legacy of Secrecy,' Robert De Niro On Board

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood May 17, 2013 at 2:26PM

Long-gestating JFK assassination conspiracy film "Legacy of Secrecy" is reportedly finally coming to fruition, with director David O. Russell at the helm. First announced in 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way banner, the film centers on FBI informant Jack Laningham and on Mafia kingpin Carlos Marcello (to be played by Robert De Niro), who confided to Laningham that he ordered the hit on Kennedy.
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Robert De Niro, left, and Leonardo DiCaprio, center, in 2010
Robert De Niro, left, and Leonardo DiCaprio, center, in 2010

Long-gestating JFK assassination conspiracy film "Legacy of Secrecy" is reportedly finally coming to fruition, with director David O. Russell at the helm. First announced in 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way banner, the film centers on FBI informant Jack Laningham and Mafia kingpin Carlos Marcello (to be played by Robert De Niro) who confided to Laningham that he ordered the hit on Kennedy.

David O. Russell

No specific word on who would play Laningham, but the Playlist understandably presumes it would be DiCaprio. The film is based on the book by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann, and adapting it has long been a passion project for DiCaprio's father, George. 

November of this year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination, and a number of JFK-oriented projects have wheels spinning. "Parkland," starring a sprawling cast including Paul Giamatti, Jacki Weaver and Billy Bob Thornton, and produced by Tom Hanks, went into production in January, and centers on the chaotic events at Dallas' Parkland Hospital on the day of the president's shooting.

Meanwhile, Cate Blanchett has just joined the cast of David Mamet's "Blackbird," currently being shopped to foreign buyers at Cannes, which is a contemporary-set thriller following a woman who discovers her father played a role in the conspiracy.

This article is related to: News, Leonardo DiCaprio, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, David O. Russell, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.