Romania's Castel Film Studios has backed down from claims made earlier this week that Leonardo DiCaprio would be appearing in Librium, the sci-fi thriller that is due to shoot in Bucharest this Summer for Dimension Films.
Admitting to the same wishful thinking that makes casting credits so non-contractual at film markets, the red-faced studio explained on Tuesday that the actor had not actually signed for the movie even though his name was used to win Government permission to shoot in the sprawling old Palace that now houses the country's Parliament.
"It is common in the movie business to air well-known names before the casting is actually being done ... and DiCaprio's name was aired as a wish of ours, not as a certainty," clarified Castel spokeswoman Calina Pirotici in a statement to the Associated Press.
Castel's retraction followed with an official denial from DiCaprio's press agent, Ken Sunshine Consultants of New York, that the young superstar would be shooting a film in Roumania this August. Miramax, which will distribute the film through Dimension, had also refused to confirm DiCaprio's involvement in the film.
Nonetheless it seems that the very mention of DiCaprio was enough to persuade the Chamber of Deputies to overcome their initial resistance to shooting certain scenes in the building from where Communist tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu ruled with such an iron fist. They reportedly allowed the cameras in two of the Palatial rooms - at a daily cost of $8,000 - after learning of the tourist benefits of having DiCaprio involved in a Roumanian production.
Librium is due to be directed by Kurt Wimmer from his own script. The futuristic thriller, which is set in the year 2070 amid an oppressive society that suppresses human emotions by requiring its citizens to take a daily does of a drug known as Librium, is being produced by Jan De Bont and Lucas Foster's Blue Tulip Productions. To date, the only reported cast member in Librium has been Taye Diggs, although sources say he will not be playing the lead character.