While out doing press for his upcoming sci-fi acitoner “I am Number Four”, director D.J. Caruso mentioned to the Playlist that next up for him is Fox’s adaptation of Josh Bazell’s debut mob novel “Beat the Reaper”, and that he hopes to rope Leonardo DiCaprio, who is currently just producing (one of a gazillion movies the dude is producing, give or take a couple of million), to star as well.
Bazell’s “Beat the Reaper” has a pretty nifty premise. It goes something like this:
The Locanos, a mob family, take in 14-year-old Pietro Brwna (pronounced Browna) after a couple of thugs gun down the grandparents who raised him in their New Jersey home. Bent on revenge, Pietro pursues the killers and executes them a year later. Impressed by Pietros performance, David Locano recruits Pietro as a hit man. After more traumas, Pietro tries to make a break from his past by entering the witness protection program. Now known as Peter Brown, he eventually lands a position as a doctor at a decrepit Manhattan hospital, where by chance a former Mafia associate turns up as a patient and threatens to rat him out.
The novel is written from the perspective of Brwna in first-person, and it’s a pretty breezy read. And it would definitely make a good fit for DiCaprio.