Leonardo DiCaprio Tackling Wild Animal Tale 'American Wolf' (Exclusive)

Issue 44 FEA Leonardo DiCaprio Crop - H 2013
Wesley Mann

Issue 44 FEA Leonardo DiCaprio Crop - H 2013

Kevin McCormick with DiCaprio's Appian Way shingle will produce an adaptation of a book that tells the tale of celebrated female alpha wolf O-Six

Just days after a seven-figure book deal was made for American Wolf, Hollywood is now also trapping the canis lupus murder mystery.

Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way production banner are partnering with Kevin McCormick's Langley Park to pick up the movie rights to the book proposal by Nate Blakeslee.

The book generated plenty of interest on both the publishing side and the movie side, with New Regency and Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers also in on the bidding.

McCormick, who spearheaded the hunt for the rights, is the Warners-based producer of Gangster Squad who recently wrapped the independent Mickey Rourke-Nat Wolff coming-of-age movie Ashby. He will produce with DiCaprio and Appian's Jennifer Killoran.

Wolf tells the story of O-Six, who in some circles was the world's most famous wild animal. The female alpha wolf was collared and tracked by researchers at Yellowstone National Park, gaining a huge following from not only scientists but the public as well. She was shot by a hunter in 2012 just outside the park's boundaries, an act that caused howls around the country (she even got an obituary in The New York Times) despite it being legal — wolves were scaled back from endangered species' lists, so there were new population control measures in place.

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Blakeslee, a senior editor at Texas Monthly, focused on O-Six (named after the year she was born) and the impact she had on the humans around her, as well as the wolf watchers and nature aficionado who symbolized the conservation movement's success, and the hunter, a vilified man who remains unnamed to this day.

Blakeslee already has made some Hollywood in-roads. He wrote Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town, a book that was set at Lionsgate with Halle Berry attached to star.

The U.S. book rights were nabbed preemtively by Crown as well as by Knopf Canada. Blessing picked up the German rights.

Justin Manask at Office for Literary Adaptation struck the movie deal on behalf of David Patterson at Foundry.