Leonardo DiCaprio Is Headed South Once Again for ‘Truevine’
Wondering when Leonardo DiCaprio would be heading back to the Deep South? Since his villainous turn in Django Unchained, the actor has appeared in New York City as two very different multimillionaires, and was mauled by a bear in the 1800s Dakota Territory. But now he’ll be returning to the South and a tobacco farm during the era of Jim Crow.
Deadline reports that the film will be based on Beth Macy’s book Truevine: Two Brothers, A Kidnapping, And A Mother’s Quest; A True Story Of The Jim Crow South. Two little boys accept candy from a stranger and are forced into a life in the circus, performing at Buckingham Palace and Madison Square Garden, but always as horrifyingly racist caricatures of black stereotypes and myths.
Here’s the book’s synopsis:
The year was 1899 and the place a sweltering tobacco farm in the Jim Crow South town of Truevine, Virginia. George and Willie Muse were two little boys born to a sharecropper family. One day a white man offered them a piece of candy, setting off events that would take them around the world and change their lives forever.
Captured into the circus, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. But the very root of their success was in the color of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even “Ambassadors from Mars.” Back home, their mother never accepted that they were “gone” and spent 28 years trying to get them back.
Through hundreds of interviews and decades of research, Beth Macy expertly explores a central and difficult question: Where were the brothers better off? On the world stage as stars or in poverty at home?