Barry Jenkins, Leonardo DiCaprio & Netflix Developing Virunga Film Adaptation
Deadline is reporting that Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk), Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), and Netflix are teaming up on a feature adaptation of the Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga.
The true story follows rangers risking their lives to save Africa’s most precious national park and its endangered gorillas. In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth and home to the planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas. In this wild, but enchanted environment, a small and embattled team of park rangers – including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a caretaker of orphan gorillas and a dedicated conservationist – protect this UNESCO world heritage site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling to control Congo’s rich natural resources. When the newly formed M23 rebel group declares war, a new conflict threatens the lives and stability of everyone and everything they’ve worked so hard to protect, with the filmmakers and the film’s participants caught in the crossfire.
The original documentary film was written and directed by Orlando von Einsiedel (The White Helmets). The doc is streaming now on Netflix.
DiCaprio, who served as an executive producer on the docu, is producing the project with his Appian Way partners Jennifer Davisson and Phillip Watson as well as Oscar-winner Joanna Natasegara for London-based Violet Films. Einsiedel will serve as executive producer.
(Photo by Manny Hernandez/Getty Images & Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images)