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Leonardo DiCaprio to star in new Enron flick

Character portrayed by Oscar-nominated actor will uncover accounting scandal at fallen energy giant.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Film star Leonardo DiCaprio is slated to produce and star in a new film on the collapse of the giant energy company Enron, Warner Bros. movie studio said Tuesday.

Warner Bros. made the deal last week for the film, which would most likely be based on "Conspiracy of Fools", a book chronicling the scandal written by New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald, the studio said, confirming a report first published by Variety, the entertainment industry publication.

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DiCaprio has struck a deal with Warner Bros. to star in and produce a film about the collapse of Enron, one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history.

DiCaprio, nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the film "Blood Diamond" last year, will play a newcomer who exposes the accounting fraud at the Houston-based company, the studio said. He will produce the film through his production company, Appian Way.

DiCaprio's film would be the latest to recount the downfall of Enron. In 2005 the documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" was released, based on a book of the same title by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. (Click here for an excerpt)

Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 after investigators found it had used partnerships to conceal more than $1 billion in debt and inflate profits. Enron's downfall cost 4,000 employees their jobs and many of them their life savings, and led to billions of dollars of losses for investors.

Former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling, who gained infamy as the man who orchestrated the fraud, was sentenced to more than 24 years in jail.

Skilling's co-conspirator, company founder Ken Lay was convicted of 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy, but passed away in July of a heart problem. His conviction was legally vacated as a result of his death.

Both Warner Bros. and CNNMoney.com are both owned by Time Warner (up $0.33 to $21.50, Charts), the world's largest media company.


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