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Leonardo DiCaprio may make VW scandal movie

volkswagen leonardo dicaprio movie

The Volkswagen diesel scandal is set to get the Hollywood treatment.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way is planning to make a movie about the scandal, basing it on a yet-to-be-written book by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing.

“Appian Way has acquired an option on the rights,” Ewing told CNNMoney.

Ewing’s agent Marly Rusoff said the book will focus on how a “more, better, faster” ethos fueled one of the “greatest frauds in corporate history.” Appian will partner with Paramount Pictures on the movie, she said.

Appian Way was not immediately available for comment. Paramount, owned by Viacom(VIA), declined to comment.

Volkswagen(VLKAY) was caught last month cheating on diesel emission tests in the U.S. The company quickly admitted that as many as 11 million cars could be affected around the world, and the company’s CEO resigned.

The embattled carmaker has set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.4 billion) to cover the costs of the crisis, but analysts expect the final bill will be much higher.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Volkswagen scandal

Rusoff told CNNMoney she expects the book will be completed by the end of 2016, and that DiCaprio will likely produce the film.

DiCaprio has worked with Paramount before, starring in the studio’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was based on the life of convicted stock scammer Jordan Belfort.

The “Titanic” star has been campaigning on environmental issues for many years, and his Twitter account is full of references to clean air. Last month he joined Divest Invest, a group that is dumping fossil fuel investments in favor of clean energy.

Related: See the trailer for ‘The Big Short’ movie

Rusoff said publisher W.W. Norton & Company had agreed to pay a six-figure sum for the book rights, based on a rough outline for the work.

Frankfurt-based correspondent Ewing has been covering the Volkswagen crisis for the New York Times since the story came to light in September.

He also wrote the book, “Germany’s Economic Renaissance: Lessons for America,” which was published in 2014.

CNNMoney (London) October 13, 2015: 11:21 AM ET



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