Scoop: Leonardo DiCaprio sinks his teeth into Volkswagen scandal

Go, Leo, go!

Leonardo DiCaprio is going to make a movie about how Volkswagen admitted rigging diesel emissions tests — and the book it will be based on hasn’t even been written yet!

Paramount and Oscar-winner DiCaprio’s producing company Appian Way acquired the rights to a proposal by Jack Ewing, whose untitled book, pitched as the “Too Big To Fail” of the auto industry, inked a six-figure deal with Norton earlier this month, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The book will detail how the European automaker’s “more, better, faster” ethos fueled one of the greatest frauds in corporate history. The German car company programmed its diesel cars so that U.S. standards emissions were met only when the car was undergoing emissions testing. On-the-read emissions rates were as much as 40 times higher.

The scandal led to the resignation of CEO Martin Winterkorn. Michael Horn, Volkswagen’s top U.S. executive, apologized to lawmakers at a recent congressional hearing. Volkswagen is facing a German investigation, as well as up to $18 billion in fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There’s no word on whether DiCaprio will appear in the film.

Other scandal movies also are in the works: “Deepwater Horizon,” about the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, stars Mark Wahlberg. Kate Hudson, Dylan O’Brien and Kurt Russell, and is slated for release in September 2016. “The Big Short,” based on Michael Lewis’ book about the financial crisis of 2007–10, stars Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell and is scheduled to hit the big screen in December.

QUICK TAKES

Zillow, the real estate data base, announced that San Francisco, for the fifth year in a row, ranked No. 1 in its Trick-or-Treat Index (meaing it’s the best city in the U.S. for trick-or-treating). … Akiko’s in San Francisco was named on the list of website The Daily Meal’s 35 Best Sushi Bars in America. … The World’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2015 — presented by industry professionals from Drinks International — had three from San Francisco: Tommy’s, Smugglers Cove and Trick Dog. … RushTix, a new Bay Area arts subscription service offering cheap tickets to theater, concerts, comedy and other live events, launches today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Ashanti is 35. … Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is 44. … Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is 46. … Actress Kelly Preston is 53. … Former 49er Jerry Rice is 53. … Singer Marie Osmond is 56. … Model Beverly Johnson is 63. … Singer Sammy Hagar is 68. … Musician Paul Simon is 74. … Saxophonist Lee Konitz is 88.

— Wire report

Got Bay Area celebrity gossip or scoops? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

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