Preview by: Jack Foley
IT'S fair to say that Leonardo DiCaprio is enjoying something
of a special relationship with director, Martin Scorsese, if their
recent work is anything to go by.
Having already teamed up for Gangs
of New York, the pair will be reunited for The
Departed - a keenly-anticipated Hollywood remake of the Hong
Kong thriller, Infernal Affairs.
First up, though, is the forthcoming Howard Hughes biopic, The
Aviator, a $100 million epic that is destined to be one of the
big Christmas releases on both sides of the Atlantic.
And it could well be the film that helps both actor and director
to Academy Award success - not least because of the talent they
have surrounded themselves with.
The film is produced by Michael Mann, who had originally planned
to direct, and co-stars the likes of Cate Blanchett, Jude Law,
John C. Reilly, Kate Beckinsale, Barry Pepper, Gwen Stefani, Adam
Scott, Kelli Garner, Alec Baldwin and Danny Huston.
DiCaprio portrays the multi-talented Hughes, who went from being
a wealthy Texas heir - after he inherited his father's tool company
- to billionaire tycoon.
The film follows Hughes' career as
a powerful Hollywood producer (who eventually owned RKO Pictures),
through to his time as an oil baron and casino owner.
Its main focus, however, will be his love of aviation, which
led him to design his infamous enormous flying boat, the Spruce
According to Mann, who has been extolling the virtues of DiCaprio's
performance, it will go up to the age of 47, just before the time
Hughes became a recluse.
But it does promise a riveting account of the businessman, who
was one of the most influential men of the century.
Adds Mann: "I think Leo is stunning in this. He's phenomental,
particularly in the second half, as the older Hughes. It's an
excellent piece of work."
Mann, himself, decided not to direct the film because he had
already helmed two back-to-back biopics, in the form of The Insider
But after he approached Scorsese, he had little doubt that the
project was in safe hands, and remained content to assume producer
duties, while also directing his own project, Collateral, which
sees Tom Cruise play an assassin.
Of the strong support cast, movie buffs can look forward to the
prospect of seeing Beckinsale play Ava Gardner, Blanchett portray
Katharine Hepburn, and No Doubt singer, Stefani, as Jean Harlow,
while another of the stars of the moment, Jude Law, crops up as
The film is due to open in London on Boxing Day, with the rest
of the country landing it on New Year's Eve.