Follow Us on Twitter

Leonardo DiCaprio to star in dream project The Crowded Room

The Wolf of Wall Street

Story by Jack Foley

LEONARDO DiCaprio has moved a step closer to realising another of his dream projects, The Crowded Room.

The Wolf of Wall Street star is attached to star in and produce the film, which chronicles the life of Billy Milligan, who was the first person to successfully use multiple personality disorder as a defence in a court of law.

DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company has now come on board to produce, while Jason Smilovic (of Lucky Number Slevin fame) and Todd Katzberg have been hired to pen and adapt the script.

The Crowded Room has been a long-held dream project for DiCaprio but, thus far, it has remained in a state of dormancy for a decade. Indeed, the actor has been keen to get things going since 1997.

The Crowded Room would be based on Daniel Keyes’ 1981 non-fiction book about Milligan, who had 24 personalities.

Milligan’s story gained notoriety when he charged with robbery and raping three women on the Ohio State University campus in the late 70s.

In mounting his defence, however, Milligan — who died in December 2014 — was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder.

He therefore pleaded guilty to insanity with he and his lawyers contending that two of his alternate personalities committed the crimes without his knowledge.

He was the first person to use this defence, and the first to be acquitted for this reason.

Milligan’s various personalities included Adalana, a lesbian taking responsibility for the rapes; Ragen, a Yugoslavian communist who admitted to the robbery; and Arthur, an uptight Englishman.

As yet, there is no director attached or release date set. But with Smilovic now on board to help with the script, the project has gained fresh impetus.

DiCaprio himself will next be seen in Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant, the director’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning Birdman.

Next story: Spectre to focus on James Bond’s childhood