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Leonardo DiCaprio Set To Play Infamous Cult Leader Jim Jones For Movie Biopic

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Leonardo DiCaprio Set To Play Infamous Cult Leader Jim Jones For Movie Biopic

Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly in final talks to play infamous cult leader Jim Jones in a biopic about his life.

Deadline explains how the Hollywood star is keen on playing the People's Temple founder and the man responsible for the Jonestown mass suicide.

Scott Rosenberg (Venom) has written the script for Jim Jones and it has been picked up by movie studio MGM.

Credit: Nancy Wong (Creative Commons)
Credit: Nancy Wong (Creative Commons)
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There's no word on who, if anyone, MGM is also in talks with to play the cult leader and there's definitely no indication on when we can expect to see this film on the big screen.

Jim Jones started the Peoples Temple in Indianapolis back in 1955.

His movement rejected traditional Christianity and he quickly attracted a large following of people across America.

Two decades later, which included a scene change to California and a massive expansion into political and charitable activity, Jim Jones started telling his followers that he was God.

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In 1974, he started building Jonestown, a commune on Guyana where he claimed it would be a 'socialist paradise free from the oppression of the United States government'.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Many followed him to the South American country and it wasn't long before it held hundreds of congregants.

Four years later, a US delegation traveled to Jonestown to see if reports of human rights abuses were correct.

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The delegation inspected the commune and, as they were boarding a plane out of the region with a bunch of defectors, they were attacked by a group of Jonestown gunmen.

Five people were killed and the rest were able to get out and spread the word about what happened.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Later that day, on November 17, Jim Jones convinced more than 900 people to drink a beverage that was laced with cyanide.

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He told them that intelligence organisations were conspiring against the Temple and that a mass suicide was the only option.

When a Jonestown member refused, he said: "Stop these hysterics. This is not the way for people who are socialists or communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity."

The FBI discovered a 45-minute recording of the horrifying ordeal and Jim Jones said at the end: "We didn't commit suicide; we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world."

In total, 909 people, including 304 children, died. It was the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until the September 11 attacks.

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Jones was found in the commune with a single gunshot wound to the head.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, Leonardo DiCaprio

Stewart Perrie
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