Two years exactly since triggering a buying frenzy in London with Gangs Of New York, Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group (IEG) is to team with Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese again on the ultimate indie epic - the story of Alexander The Great.
King has bought the script Alexander in a mid seven figure deal for Scorsese to direct and DiCaprio to produce and probably star in. Formerly based at The Canton Co, the script was written by Peter Buchman (Jurassic Park III) and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects).
King will produce with Buchman and McQuarrie, together with McQuarrie's long-time production partner, Kenneth Kokin, DiCaprio's company Appian Way and Scorsese's Cappa Productions. IEG plans to fully finance the film and will handle worldwide distribution, although it is not selling the title at London or Mifed.
The deal is part of the three-year production agreement King struck with DiCaprio and Appian Way in August this year.
King was first shown the script by Cecchi Gori USA chief Gianni Nunnari, who will executive produce. He then passed it to DiCaprio and Scorsese, the star and director respectively of Gangs Of New York, which IEG co-financed with Miramax Films.
"I sent it to Marty Scorsese, who is passionate about doing an Alexander The Great movie and saw the potential in this script," said King yesterday in London. "It was perfect for Marty and Leo, who have such a great relationship."
He added that he thinks it unlikely that Scorsese, who has just completed the $100m-plus Gangs, will tackle Alexander as his next picture. Scorsese, whose Cappa has an overall five year deal with Miramax, is also attached to films about Dean Martin, Walter Winchell and the house of Gucci.
The script tells the story of how, crowned king of Macedonia after his father Phillip is murdered, Alexander carries on his father's campaign to conquer Greece. However, his brilliant triumphs eventually lead to his downfall.
King, Scorsese and DiCaprio join a distinguished list of filmmakers inspired by the material: Oliver Stone has long been developing an Alexander picture, as has Alfonso Arau. Most recently, producer Dino DeLaurentiis said that he was developing one with Anthony Hopkins attached to star and had approached Ridley Scott to direct.