New Regency has nabbed film rights to the novel Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell, and is looking to have Leonardo DiCaprio star in the film, according to a report by Variety. DiCaprio will play a former mafia hit man in New Jersey named Pietro Brwna, who goes into the witness protection program, and later becomes a Manhattan emergency room doctor named Peter Brown. His life gets turned upside down when a former Mafia associate turns up as a patient at the hospital, recognizes Brwna, and threatens to rat him out.
Julie Yorn will produce the film with Jennifer Davisson Killoran and DiCaprio, who recently completed shooting the Martin Scorsese thriller Shutter Island.
For Regency, the Beat the Reaper rights follows other recent acquisitions, including the Isaac Asimov sci-fi classic The End of Eternity, and Mr. Romance, a comedy to be directed by Seth Gordon (Four Christmases).
CLICK HERE to purchase the novel Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell.
This marks yet another solid adaptation choice for DiCaprio, who is already attached to The Chancellor Manuscript, based on the espionage novel by Robert Ludlum (The Bourne Identity). That film follows Peter Chancellor, as his life becomes a mirror of his latest book, as he becomes tangled in a web involving Washington power brokers and a blackmail plot targeted to alter U.S. policy.