No, Leonardo DiCaprio Isn't Playing Poet Rumi in a Biopic

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Leonardo DiCaprio

Screenwriter David Franzoni and producer Stephen Joel Brown said they'd love to cast the 'Revenant' actor in the movie about the 13th century poet, but sources close to DiCaprio say he will not pursue the project.

While known for playing iconic characters ranging from Howard Hughes in The Aviator to Hugh Glass in The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio won’t be playing Persian poet Rumi anytime soon.

Screenwriter David Franzoni (Gladiator) and producer Stephen Joel Brown, who are working on a film about the 13th century poet, said in an interview that DiCaprio was their top choice to play Rumi (they also mentioned they'd like Robert Downey Jr. to play Rumi's spiritual mentor Shams Tabrizi). 

It's safe to say that DiCaprio, who just won his first Oscar for his work in The Revenant, is often at the top of many filmmakers' wish lists. But the comments by the producers of the Rumi film (which have been picked up by several other news outlets) were just their own dream castings, and sources say no one from the film has reached out to DiCaprio about the indie project. Franzoni and Brown say they hope to shoot next year.

"He hasn't been asked, but regardless he will not be pursuing the project," sources close to DiCaprio tell The Hollywood Reporter.

DiCaprio has not revealed the next film in which he will appear as an actor, but he's attached as a producer via his Appian Way banner to a slew of projects, including Ben Affleck's next directorial effort Live by Night and horror-thriller Delirium.