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WANTED - a DiCaprio look-alike with the ability to play a young Alexander the Great!

Story by: Jack Foley

HOW'S this for a job advert? Boy wanted, aged between 8-9 years of age, exceptionally gifted, with the looks of a young Leonardo.

What's more, they will require tremendous equestrian skills and must embody the complicated brilliance of a political leader and the physical prowess of a warrior in the making...

The job itself? Playing the young Alexander (the Great, that is), in the forthcoming blockbuster, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman.

It's not something you find in The Guardian Media Guide every Monday, but it does represent the offer of a (young) lifetime, and was announced by producers Martha and Dino De Laurentiis, and director, writer, and producer, Baz Luhrmann, on Monday (July 28).

The search is part of a world-wide casting offer to play the part of the young Alexander in forthcoming flick, Alexander The Great, in what is certain to be one of the most talked about movies of next year.

One of the greatest historical figures of all time, the role of Alexander the Great will be portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, while Baz Luhrmann will direct.

The film will be produced by Dino and Martha De Laurentiis and Luhrmann and released by Dream Works Pictures and Universal Pictures.

Nicole Kidman will also star as Olympia, Alexander's mother and one of the most iconic figures in all history.

The project reteams both DiCaprio and Kidman with Luhrmann, following his Oscar-winner, Moulin Rouge!, and Broadway triumph, La Boheme.

The Oscar®-nominated DiCaprio (Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York) catapulted into superstardom when he portrayed Romeo in Luhrmann's vivid interpretation of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet in 1966.

But enough about the established stars and more about the rising one...

"We are searching for a young Leonardo," explained Luhrmann, at the launch of the casting search.

"He will play the young Alexander before he became the world-conquering hero celebrated through history.

"The complicated young man
young man who, while honing the physical skills required of the warrior-King he was destined to be, also developed a wide intellect under the tuition of one of the greatest minds of history, Artistotle...

"The boy we are seeking will be around 8-9 years of age, exceptionally gifted with the looks of a young Leonardo. Above all, they will require tremendous equestrian skills as one of the significant elements of the film will be Alexander's legendary relationship with the horse, Bucephalus," continued Luhrmann.

As the search for the young Alexander begins, however, Luhrmann has recently been to Los Angeles, where he dazzled representatives from both studios with a presentation of his new structure for the ambitious story and a precise vision for the visual language and epic reach of the film.

DiCaprio stated afterwards: "The character of Alexander the Great is one of the most remarkable figures in history.

"It's not just that he conquered the world or was taught by one of the great minds in history, Aristotle; what most attracts me is the complex character of Alexander himself - always restless, impulsive but measured.

"It's truly one of the most extraordinary stories in human history, the resonance of which has had a direct effect not only on who we are but where we find ourselves today."

Nicole Kidman added:"Baz and I have often discussed our love of epic stories and, in particular, those told through simple human drama.

"The character of Olympia is one of the few iconic women in history. She is unlike any other woman I've played before and it's a role I'm really looking forward to."

Based on the short but extraordinary life of the brilliant warrior-conqueror, who ruled over the largest empire ever to fall under one man, filming Alexander the Great is the long-held cinematic dream of De Laurentiis, the producer of several decades' worth of memorable motion pictures.

Working with Luhrmann continues De Laurentiis' lifelong dedication to working with the visionary directors, from his early work with Federico Fellini (on films awarded two Oscars®) and Vittorio De Sica through contemporary mavericks such as David Lynch.

In 2001, De Laurentiis received the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Academy Award® in recognition of his lifetime's contributions to the motion picture industry.

The person lucky enough to be selected will enjoy one of the most high profile big-screen debuts in cinema history.

Luhrmann is currently shooting visual effects' plates in Greece and Iran, having commenced work on VFX in Sydney Australia.

He and De Laurentiis continue to scout practical locations in Jordan and Australia, having already secured support from King Mohammed VI of Morocco as well as Prince Chatri Chalerm Yukol of Thailand.

Applicants should send a color head shot, CV and statistical details, including age, height, weight, and horse riding experience to:
Universal Pictures Feature Castings Dept
100 Universal City Plaza
Building 2160/8A
Universal City, CA 91608

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