Leonardo DiCaprio to Produce Adaptation of Forthcoming Post-Apocalyptic YA Novel

With bizarre weather occurrences in the past few years, climate change has been an increasingly hot topic. Leonardo DiCaprio, another hot topic, has been a long outspoken environmentalist and philanthropist, with his own foundation that “is dedicated to the long-term heath and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants,” according to the foundation’s mission statement. Recently, DiCaprio bought the movie rights to Kayla Olson’s upcoming post-apocalyptic YA novel The Sandcastle Empire. This trifecta of hot-topics (climate change, DiCaprio, and post-apocalyptic YA novels) is sure to produce something pertinent and entertaining.       

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DiCaprio will collaborate with his partner at Appian Way Productions, Jennifer Davisson, to produce the adaptation. Audiences have surely noticed the flood of young adult disaster themed books and movies, but what attracted DiCaprio to Olson’s novel is its inclination towards environmental issues.  Set in the near-distant future of 2049, The Sandcastle Empire, is about a young woman named Eden who teams up with three other girls to survive against the Wolfpack. The Wolfpack overthrew the government as Earth, “reached its breaking point from coastal flooding, overpopulation and other effects of climate change,” as described in the New York Daily News.

DiCaprio was apparently very moved, and freaked out, while filming The Revenant, where he witnessed the effects of climate change first-hand. After the SAG awards, DiCaprio discussed the influence filming The Revenant had on him. While in Calgary, Canada, known for its frigid winters, locals commented on how abnormal the weather was. Because of the unprecedented warmth, the filming crew “had to go to the southern tip of Argentina just to be able to find snow to complete the film,” DiCaprio remarked. 

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The Sandcastle Empire has yet to be published, and publishing information has not been released.


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