Many consider Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in this year’s book adaptation of “The Revenant” to be a shoe-in for the actor’s first Oscar win this Sunday and it probably is. Lord knows DiCaprio, a veteran actor with over 37 film and tv credits to his name, has certainly paid his dues in the film industry. But this isn’t DiCaprio’s first role in a book-to-movie. In fact, some of DiCaprio’s most celebrated roles have been in big-screen adaptions of popular books. Here’s a look back at all the books that served as fodder for DiCaprio’s impressive career.
1. “The Revenant”
“The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge” is a 2002 novel by Michael Punke, based on the story of the American frontiersman Hugh Glass. The book and film follow Glass on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s that turns into a fight for survival after he’s mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. The book was adapted as a screenplay for a film released in December 2015, directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and starring DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.
2. “The Wolf of Wall Street”
“The Wolf of Wall Street” is a non-fiction memoir book by former stockbroker and trader Jordan Belfort. The text was initially published on September 25, 2007 by Bantam Books and was Belfort’s debut book followed by “Catching the Wolf of Wall Street,” published in 2009. It was adapted into the 2013 film of the same name, starring DiCaprio as Belfort.
3. “The Great Gatsby”
“The Great Gatsby” is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The 2013 film adaptation by Baz Luhrmann stars DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton.
4. “Shutter Island”
“Shutter Island” is a best-selling psychological thriller novel by Dennis Lehane, published by Harper Collins in April 2003. The book follows U.S. Marshall Edward “Teddy” Daniels, who is investigating a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island. A film adaptation was released in February 2010 directed by Martin Scorsese and starring DiCaprio.
5. “Revolutionary Road”
“Revolutionary Road” is a 2008 British-American drama film, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Richard Yates, directed by Sam Mendes. This is the second collaboration between DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates, who previously co-starred in “Titanic.” The book and film follow a young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s as they struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.
6. “Body of Lies”
“Body of Lies” is an American spy thriller novel by David Ignatius, a columnist for The Washington Post. It was published by W. W. Norton in 2007. It was originally titled “Penetration” but was renamed after Warner Bros. bought the rights in 2006. The book and film follow a CIA operative who goes to Jordan to track a high-ranking terrorist. The film is directed by Ridley Scott, written by William Monahan, and stars DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.
7. “The Aviator”
“The Aviator” was based on the 1993 non-fiction book “Howard Hughes: The Secret Life” by Charles Hingham and depicts the life of Howard Hughes, an aviation pioneer and director of Hell’s Angels. The film portrays his life between the late 1920s and late 1940s, during which time Hughes became a successful film producer and an aviation magnate while simultaneously growing more unstable due to severe obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). The 2004 film was directed by Scorsese and stars DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, and Kate Beckinsale.
8. “Catch Me If You Can”
“Catch Me If You Can” is a 2002 American Technicolor biographical crime drama film based on the 1980 biography of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. His primary crime was check fraud; he became so experienced that the FBI eventually turned to him to help in catching other check forgers. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
9. “Gangs of New York”
“Gangs of New York” is a 2002 American historical fiction film set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan. The film was directed by Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, and Kenneth Lonergan, inspired by Herbert Asbury’s 1927 non-fiction book, “The Gangs of New York.” The two principal issues of the era in New York were Irish immigration to the city and the ongoing Civil War. The story follows William “Bill the Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) in his roles as crime boss and political kingmaker under the helm of “Boss” Tweed (Jim Broadbent). The film culminates in a violent confrontation between Cutting and his mob with protagonist Amsterdam Vallon (DiCaprio) and his allies.
10. “The Beach”
“The Beach” is a 1996 travel/backpacking novel by English author Alex Garland. Set in Thailand, it is the story of a young backpacker’s search for a legendary, idyllic and isolated beach untouched by tourism, and his time there, in its small, international community of backpackers. The 2000 adaptation was directed by Danny Boyle and stars DiCaprio.
11. “The Man in the Iron Mask”
“The Man in the Iron Mask” is a 1998 adventure drama film directed, produced, and written by Randall Wallace, and starring DiCaprio in a dual role as the title character and villain, Jeremy Irons as Aramis, John Malkovich as Athos, Gerard Depardieu as Porthos, and Gabriel Byrne as D’Artagnan. The film uses characters from Alexandre Dumas’ “D’Artagnan Romances” and is very loosely adapted from some plot elements of “The Vicomte de Bragelonne.” The film centers on the aging four Musketeers; Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan during the reign of King Louis XIV and attempts to explain the mystery of the man in the iron mask.
12. “Romeo and Juliet”
“Romeo + Juliet” is a 1996 American romantic drama film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” It was directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars DiCaprio and Claire Danes in the leading roles. The adaptation is an abridged modernization of Shakespeare’s play. While it retains the original Shakespearean dialogue, the Montagues and the Capulets are represented as warring mafia empires (with legitimate business fronts) and swords are replaced with guns (with brand names such as “Dagger” and “Sword”).
13. “The Basketball Diaries”
“The Basketball Diaries” is a 1995 American coming of age crime drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg. The film is an adaptation of Jim Carroll’s autobiographical work of the same name, telling the story of Carroll’s teenage years as a promising high school basketball player and writer who developed an addiction to heroin with his misguided friends.
14. “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”
“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” is a 1993 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Darlene Cates, and DiCaprio. The film follows twenty-four-year-old Gilbert (Depp), a grocery clerk caring for his morbidly obese mother and developmentally disabled younger brother in a sleepy midwestern town. Peter Hedges wrote the screenplay, adapted from his 1991 novel of the same name.
15. “This Boy’s Life”
“This Boy’s Life” is a 1993 film adaptation of the 1989 memoir of the same name by American author Tobias Wolff. It was directed by Michael Caton-Jones and stars DiCaprio as Tobias Wolff, Robert De Niro as stepfather Dwight Hansen, and Ellen Barkin as Toby’s mother, Caroline. The book and film depict the author’s adolescence as he wanders the continental United States with his travelling mother.