‘Virunga’: Leonardo DiCaprio And Barry Jenkins Team For Adaptation Of Acclaimed Netflix Doc

In 2014, Netflix earned just its second Oscar nomination in its short history for a documentary feature, Virunga. Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, it followed rangers risking their lives to protect gorillas at the Congo’s Virunga  National Park during the rise of a violent rebellion. Conservation efforts are one of those things that perk up the ears of Leonardo DiCaprio, and he’s set to make a movie based on Virunga, and he’s bringing Moonlight director Barry Jenkins with him.

Deadline reports that Jenkins will write the script for Virunga, based on the acclaimed documentary. DiCaprio will produce through his Appian Way banner, having exec-produced the doc for Netflix, who are also involved with this adaptation. Nothing on who will direct at this point, or if DiCaprio will have a role.  DiCaprio has quietly attached himself to numerous environmental docs in the past, and it continues to be a passion that he doesn’t talk much about publicly.

The inclusion of Jenkins is interesting and unexpected, but this is what happens when you write and direct two critically-acclaimed films as Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. He’s currently finishing up an Underground Railroad series for Amazon, and will then move on to a biopic of choreographer Alvin Ailey.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.