Leonardo DiCaprio will play famed artist - and his namesake - Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

The project comes through DiCaprio's Appian Way, which has a first-look deal at Paramount, and the actor and his president of production Jennifer Davisson will be serving as producers.

Leonardo DiCaprio is set to play artist Leonardo da Vinci in an upcoming biopic. Paramount Studios and Universal Pictures are now in a bidding war for the rights to the upcoming book Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. The former Time magazine editor also has written bestsellers on Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, the latter of which was the basis for the Emmy-nominated NatGeo series Genius that starred Geoffrey Rush.

In writing Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaacson reportedly used Da Vinci's notebooks to weave together a narrative thread marrying his incredible imagination with his celebrated artistic and scientific works.

Leonardo DiCaprio apparently wanted to play the prominent artist as he was so named because his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in a museum in Italy when he first kicked.

The book also reveals Da Vinci to be an easily distracted illegitimate child, who was also left-handed, gay, and a vegetarian to boot. His performance in The Revenant won him his first ever Oscar award in the Best Actor category. The studio is hoping that DiCaprio will star for them in The Devil In The White City, an adaptation of the Erik Larson book that's got a script by Billy Ray and will re-team DiCaprio with Martin Scorsese.

The biopic marks DiCaprio's ninth project in which he plays a real-life character. Walter Isaacson's Leonardo Da Vinci will hit book shelves on October 17, 2017.

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