Leonardo DiCaprio has lined up an intriguing acting challenge today, signing on to headline The Crowded Room. The Hollywood Reporter has the news, claiming that the Academy Award nominee has been eyeing the part for two decades and is now finally moving forward with plans to play the film’s lead role of Billy Milligan, a man with 24 different personalities and the subject of Daniel Keyes’ 1981 nonfiction book “The Minds of Billy Milligan.” Keyes’ text is described on the author’s official site as follows:
Out of control of his own actions, Billy Milligan was a man tormented by twenty-four distinct personalities battling for supremacy over his body — a battle that culminated when he awoke in jail, arrested for the kidnap and rape of three women. In a landmark trial, Billy was acquitted of his crimes by reason of insanity caused by multiple personality — the first such decision in history — bringing to public light the most remarkable and harrowing case of multiple personality ever recorded.
Twenty-four people live inside Billy Milligan.
Philip, a petty criminal; Kevin, who dealt drugs and masterminded a drugstore robbery; April whose only ambition was to kill Billy’s stepfather; Adalana, the shy, lonely, affection-starved lesbian who “used” Billy’s body in the rapes that led to his arrest; David, the eight-year-old “keeper of pain”; Arthur, the Englishman; Ragen, the “keeper of Rage” who possessed incredible strength; Allen, the con man; Tommy, the escape-artist, and all of the others, including men, women, several children, both boys and girls, and the Teacher, the only one who can put them all together. Each of these “people” play a distinct role in this often shocking true story.
The book is currently being adapted for the screen by Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg. DiCaprio will also produce The Crowded Room through his Appian Way alongside Jennifer Davisson and, through New Regency, Alexandra Milchan.
(Photo Credit: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com)