Leonardo DiCaprio puts Volkswagen scandal film on the production line

Wolf Of Wall Street

Environmentally minded Hollywood star will produce film about the car company’s emissions scandal following deal with studio Paramount

Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company is to bring the story of the Volkswagen emissions scandal to the big screen, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Appian Way, which has worked on films such as The Revenant, The Wolf of Wall Street and Shutter Island, has bought the rights to an upcoming book by Jack Ewing which was recently picked up by publisher Norton for a six-figure sum. The company will team with studio Paramount on the movie version, which is expected to examine how a “more, better, faster” ethos fuelled one of the most extensive examples of corporate fraud in history.

VW has admitted that 11m vehicles around the world were fitted with a defeat device which allowed them to cheat emissions testing. In the US, where the scandal broke, the company programmed 500,000 diesel cars so that they adhered to strict environmental standards in testing but had emissions rates up to 40 times higher in daily use.

More than 1.2m cars in the UK are believed to be affected, while Volkswagen Australia and its luxury arm, Audi, are to recall more than 90,000 local cars. VW has set aside €6.5bn (£4.8bn) to meet the cost of recalling cars and fixing them so they meet environmental standards. Chief executive Matthias Müller said last week that the process would be completed by the end of 2016.

The US Senate finance committee is currently investigating whether VW and the buyers of its diesel cars may have benefited from more than $50m in government subsidies handed out in the belief vehicles caused less pollution then they actually did. The scandal wiped more than a third off Volkswagen’s share price in the days after the news broke in September, as well as sparking the resignation of CEO Martin Winterkorn.

It’s not known if DiCaprio will star in the finished movie, which is at the early stage of development and does not yet have a writer, director or cast attached. The Oscar nominee is known as a fierce supporter of environmental issues and recently signed a deal with Netflix to produce a series of green-themed documentaries.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 13th October 2015 10.35 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010