I read about one-third of Jordan Belfort's "The Wolf of Wall Street" before I got tired of it. As a book it just sounds like some frat boy bragging about all the girls he banged, the money he had and cocaine he did. As a film, however, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street could be a lot of fun, but it's one of those "based on a true story" kind of films where the "true" part seems as if it has been stretched to the limit.
DiCaprio plays Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 20 months in prison for refusing to cooperate in a massive 1990s securities fraud case that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including mob infiltration. The film tells his story from nothing to "something" and all the craziness that took place in-between.
In a new piece over at Vulture they have six new pictures from behind the scenes along with quotes from the cast and director with DiCaprio saying, "The book personified America's addiction to obtaining wealth at all costs, and that hasn't changed... [Belfort] was a small fish in a gigantic pond, and he'd motivate his guys by telling them they were heroes for taking on the big houses. Unregulated Wall Street was like the Wild West."
That opening quote is a bit of a weird one to hear from an actor, though you could argue DiCaprio is one of the few Hollywood actors that can say something like that since he isn't jumping on projects at the same rate as Nicolas Cage, Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson.
What I'm most interested in, however, is the black comedy approach Scorsese has taken with the material. DiCaprio adds, "When Marty couldn't do it the first time, I set it up with a few other directors, but I never felt comfortable pulling the trigger. I was fixated on him. There wasn't anybody else who could bring the rawness and toughness, the music, and particularly the humor required to convey the excitement of these young punks--these robber barons--taking on the Wall Street system."
I'm guessing this will be something of a GoodFellas set on Wall Street told through the lens of Scorsese's The King of Comedy. Intrigued?
Along with DiCaprio the film stars Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, Kyle Chandler, Jon Favreau, Shea Whigham, Rob Reiner and Matthew McConaughey in a role many think is going to be an Oscar contender after watching the film trailer, but just wait, if the film is anything like the book he'll be in the opening minutes and never heard from again. A nomination for him in this one would likely be more of a steal that it was for Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love.
The film hits theaters on November 11 and the release of this piece is interesting because it is so early. Could this mean the film will be showing up in Telluride or maybe as the secret screening at the New York Film Festival? We'll see.
For now, check out the trailer and the rest of the new pictures below and on the second page and read the complete piece with plenty more from the likes of Scorsese, Hill and others right here.