Born: Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio
Birth Date: November 11, 1974
Birth Place: Hollywood, California, USA
Leonardo DiCaprio is an award-winning actor and a three-time Academy Award® nominee. He recently starred in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster “Inception,” and in the dramatic thriller “Shutter Island,” which marked his fourth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese. DiCaprio is currently filming the title role in “The Great Gatsby,” under the direction of Baz Luhrmann.
DiCaprio earned his latest Oscar nod in 2007 for his performance in Edward Zwick’s drama “Blood Diamond,” also receiving Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations for his work in the film. That same year, he garnered Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Award and SAG Award nominations for his role in the Oscar – winning Best Picture “The Departed,” directed by Scorsese. He also shared in a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast Performance as a member of the ensemble cast of “The Departed.”
He previously earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Scorsese’s acclaimed 2004 biopic “The Aviator.” DiCaprio’s portrayal of Howard Hughes in that film also brought him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama, as well as Critics’ Choice and BAFTA Award nominations. He was also honored with two SAG Award® nominations, one for Best Actor and another for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast Performance as part of the “The Aviator” cast.
In addition to his acting work, DiCaprio created his own production company, Appian Way. Under the Appian Way banner, he wrote, produced and narrated the acclaimed environmentally themed documentary “The 11th Hour.” Among Appian Way’s other productions are the aforementioned “Shutter Island” and “The Aviator,” as well as “Orphan,” “Public Enemies,” “Red Riding Hood,” “Gardener of Eden” and “The Assassination of Richard Nixon.”
He also served as executive producer on George Clooney’s current political drama, “The Ides of March.”
Born in Hollywood, California, DiCaprio started acting at the age of 14. His breakthrough feature film role came in Michael Caton-Jones’ 1993 screen adaptation of Tobias Wolff’s autobiographical drama “This Boy’s Life.” That same year, he co-starred in Lasse Hallström’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” earning his first Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations for his performance as a mentally handicapped young man. In addition, he won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s New Generation Award for his work in the film.
In 1995, DiCaprio had starring roles in three very different films, beginning with Sam Raimi’s Western “The Quick and the Dead.” He also garnered praise for his performance as drug addict Jim Carroll in the harrowing drama “The Basketball Diaries,” and for his portrayal of disturbed pansexual poet Arthur Rimbaud in Agnieszka Holland’s “Total Eclipse.” The following year, DiCaprio starred in Baz Luhrmann’s contemporary screen adaptation of “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet,” for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. He also joined an all-star ensemble cast in “Marvin’s Room,” sharing in a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast Performance.
In 1997, DiCaprio starred opposite Kate Winslet in the blockbuster “Titanic,” for which he earned a Golden Globe Award nomination. The film shattered every box office record on its way to winning 11 Oscars®, including Best Picture. His subsequent film work includes dual roles in “The Man in the Iron Mask”; “The Beach”; Woody Allen’s “Celebrity”; Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can,” receiving a Golden Globe nomination; “Gangs of New York,” which was his first film for director Martin Scorsese; Ridley Scott’s “Body of Lies”; and Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” which reunited DiCaprio with Winslet and brought him his seventh Golden Globe nomination.
DiCaprio is well known for his dedication to the environment on a global scale. By launching the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998, producing creative projects such as the documentary “11th Hour,” and spearheading numerous public awareness campaigns with select organizations, he has helped foster awareness and action on environmental issues. In early 2008, the DiCaprio Foundation joined the California Community Foundation, and is now known as The Leonardo DiCaprio Fund at CCF. Additionally, DiCaprio serves on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund, NRDC, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Global Green USA.
Christopher Nolan says he has lots of ideas that couldn’t fit in the film. But game won’t come soon.
Christopher Nolan might have the Midas touch when it comes to making movies, but he hasn’t had a lot of luck in the videogame arena. But that’s not dissuading the writer / director / producer, who plans to bring his hit film “Inception” to a console near you.
“We are looking at developing a videogame based on the world of the film, which has all kinds of ideas that you can’t fit into a feature film,” Nolan told reporters at a press conference in Rome, according to a report in Variety. “That’s something we’ve been talking about and are looking at doing long term, in a couple of years.”
The move makes sense. “Inception” has grossed over $750 million dollars at the box office since its release – and the film’s target audience lines up perfectly with the core gaming demographic.
But Nolan has tried to bring one of his movies to the gaming space before – 2008’s “The Dark Knight” – and it didn’t go well.
The game first missed a coordinated launch with the theatrical release, then failed to materialize when the DVD hit shelves. Ultimately, Electronic Arts cancelled the title after shutting down the studio that was working on it.
The world of video games is, of course, littered with forgettable movie-based tie-ins. The vast majority of those were rush jobs done by developers who were far removed from the film process, rarely (if ever) coordinating with the director.
If Nolan were to take an active role in the “Inception” game’s development, that would be an encouraging sign – but it would hardly be a guarantee of success.
Just ask James Cameron. The most successful director of all time worked closely with Ubisoft when that publisher was creating the videogame companion for “Avatar”. But when the game launched, it didn’t come close to mirroring the film’s success, failing to even crack the list of the top 20 best-selling games last December.
Atari had better luck when it worked with the Wachowski brothers on “Enter the Matrix”. Launching simultaneously with “The Matrix Reloaded” in 2003, the game went on to sell 5 million copies – but it was lambasted by critics and players, and future “Matrix” games weren’t big sellers.
Other Hollywood directors have been able to extend their cinematic prowess to the gaming screen, though. Peter Jackson worked closely with Ubisoft to create the gaming adaptation of his “King Kong” film, a game that went on to become one of the premiere launch titles for the Xbox 360. And Steven Spielberg has worked on non-movie related games with Electronic Arts — including his “Boom Blox” puzzle games — that have gone on to become critical smashes.
More recently, developers at Disney Interactive Studios worked closely with Pixar on the video game version of “Toy Story 3.” That game became one of the most lauded movie tie-in titles in the company’s history.
Nolan’s not the only celebrated director expressing interest in exploring the game world these days. Guillermo Del Toro, director of the “Hellboy” franchise and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” is said to be close to signing a deal with publisher THQ to work jointly on “games that are going to be technically and narratively very interesting.”
Like Nolan, del Toro has an artistic vision that’s distinct from the rest of Hollywood. Gamers are wary, having been burned by too many bad Hollywood tie-ins already, but hopeful that the magic the directors bring to the big screen is something they can deliver to the consoles as well.
Related Link: Inception Movie Full Production Notes
Warner Bros.’ 3D comedy sequel “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” was out-clawed by two wide-opening rivals, but the studio’s leggy pedigree “Inception” finished at the top of the domestic boxoffice during the weekend.
Christopher Nolan-directed “Inception” collected $27.5 million to grab first place for a third straight frame and push cumulative coin for the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer to $193.3 million through its first 17 days. “Kitty” — the weekend’s priciest new release — proved surprisingly toothless, settling for a fifth place debut with just $12.5 million.
Paramount’s Jay Roach-helmed yuck-fest “Dinner for Schmucks” opened solidly with $23.3 million in second place. And Universal’s Zac Efron-toplined drama “Charlie St. Cloud” — a romantic fantasy for teens and tweens — bowed roughly as expected with $12.1 million in sixth place.
Two pics hitting their sophomore sessions posted relatively modest weekend-over-weekend declines: Sony’s action thriller “Salt,” starring Angelina Jolie, fell 47% from its opening tally to fetch $19.3 million in third place with a $70.8 million cume; Fox’s family comedy “Ramona and Beezus” slid from the top rankings on a 53% decline, to $3.7 million and a $6.3 million cume.
Focus Features’ dramatic comedy “The Kids Are All Right” expanded wide in its fourth frame — to 847 theaters from a previous 201 — and registered $3.5 million, or a sturdy $4,090 per venue. Boasting a $9.6 million cume, “Kids” will add about 100 more locations Friday.
Collectively, the weekend top 10 rung up $128 million, or 20% more than top performers in a comparable frame last year, Rentrak said.
Among limited bows this session, Sony Pictures Classics unspooled the period dramedy “Get Low” — starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black — in two New York locations and two in L.A. to gross $90,954, or an auspicious $22,739 per site.
Angelina Jolie’s thriller can’t wrest Leonardo DiCaprio’s film from the top of the box office.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Inception” has won a battle of superstar action thrillers over Angelina Jolie’s “Salt” at the weekend box office. “Inception” remained the No. 1 movie for the second-straight weekend with $43.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Warner Bros. thriller featuring DiCaprio as leader of a team that sneaks into people’s dreams raised its 10-day total to $143.7 million.
Sony’s spy caper “Salt” debuted a solid No. 2 with $36.5 million. The movie stars Jolie as a CIA operative who goes rogue after she’s accused of being a Russian sleeper agent.
Coming in at No. 3 with $24.1 million was Steve Carell’s family hit “Despicable Me.” The animated comedy raised its domestic total to $161.7 million.
In a rare convergence of fresh ideas, the top three movies all were original stories, not sequels or adaptations of comic books, best-sellers, video games or other pre-existing material.
“Typically in summer, all we’re seeing are rehashes and sequels and reboots, whatever you want to call them,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. “To have original stories as the top-three films is a lesson to studios that maybe audiences are open to more originality in the summer and to perhaps not play it so safe, even though that goes against the grain of every fiber in every studio executive’s being.”
The weekend’s other new wide release, 20th Century Fox’s family comedy “Ramona and Beezus,” took in $8 million to finish at No. 6. The movie is based on Beverly Cleary’s children’s books about a teenage girl and her accident-prone little sister.
“Inception” hung in strongly in its second weekend, its total down just 31 percent from its $62.8 million opening. During the busy summer, top hits often drop 50 percent or more in the second weekend and rarely repeat as the No. 1 movie.
The film will quickly shoot past the $200 million mark at the domestic box office and has a good shot at topping $300 million, said Dan Fellman, head of distribution at Warner Bros.
Repeat business is accounting for a good share of “Inception” revenues as fans return to delve deeper into the labyrinthine story concocted by writer-director Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight”).
“There’s so much on the screen. It’s so original and so smart that it raises questions that I think can be answered in different ways if you see the movie multiple times,” Fellman said.
While young males usually make up the bulk of the action audience, women and older crowds were the core fans of Jolie’s “Salt.” Females accounted for 53 percent of viewers, while 59 percent of the audience was older than 25, according to Sony.
“What the movie really has going for it just a kick-ass performance by Angelina Jolie,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. “It just speaks well to the viability of our film for many weeks to come that you have such an incredible hold for ‘Inception,’ and we’re still able to open our picture. We coexisted really nicely.”
Overall revenues rose for the fourth-straight weekend as Hollywood continued to recover from a box-office swoon earlier in the summer. Receipts totaled $164 million, up 11 percent from the same weekend last year, when “G-Force” was No. 1 with $31.7 million.
1. “Inception,” $43.5 million.
2. “Salt,” $36.5 million.
3. “Despicable Me,” $24.1 million.
4. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” $9.7 million.
5. “Toy Story 3,” $9 million.
6. “Ramona and Beezus,” $8 million.
7. “Grown Ups,” $7.6 million.
8. “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” $7 million.
9. “The Last Airbender,” $4.2 million.
10. “Predators,” $2.9 million.
Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the best in the dangerous art of extraction: stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved.
Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse; their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.
Related Link: Inception Full Production Notes
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protÃ©gÃ©. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Related Link: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Full Production Notes
Leonardo DiCaprio calls filming a scene for the thriller in the middle of a blizzard “insane.”
“You periodically felt like you were a part of something truly insane, but it was all in a day’s work,” Leonardo DiCaprio told me during a junket for the movie “Inception.” Even if that day’s work includes shooting on a mountain in the middle of a blizzard.
Based on an original script by director Christopher Nolan, “Inception” is a film that defies easy sound-bite descriptions. Its Russian nesting doll-like structure of a dream enclosed within a dream enclosed within another dream virtually demands multiple viewings. Think Philip K. Dick meets “The Italian Job.”
Nolan’s previous silver screen venture was a little movie called “The Dark Knight” — the highest grossing non-James Cameron movie in American history. So for this go-around, the director’s vast, ambitious vision seems to have been utterly unfettered by financial constraints. And it shows.
“Inception” was shot in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Morocco, London, Paris and the Canadian Rockies. It features shots of the French capital folding in on itself M.C. Escher-style, a zero-G fist fight, and a freight train blasting through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. And in one sequence, Leo and the gang stage a raid on a snow-bound Alpine fortress — the aforementioned shoot in the blizzard.
Leo describes an exchange he had with an assistant director during production. “When we started shooting one of the ADs said, ‘Before you get to lunch we want to do some of the avalanche shots.’ ‘OK, how is that going to happen?’ ‘We’re going to blow up a couple mountains and we’re going to start a couple of avalanches and you’re going to get in there and be a part of it and then we’ll take you to lunch.’ And this is kind of what you expect on a Chris Nolan set.”
Co-star Ellen Page agreed. “It was definitely the most extreme environment I’ve ever filmed in.”
And if you thought that cast worked hard, try the production crew. That fortress had to be constructed out of wood and plaster — carried straight up the mountain — without the use of normal construction equipment. It was so cold up there that paint froze on the brush.
For a summer movie season that has proved to be easily the lamest in recent memory, filled with tepid adaptations and tired ’80s retreads, Christopher Nolan’s brand of cinematic insanity might just be what the doctor ordered.