Los Angeles, CA – Exciting news for cinephiles as it was announced that Leonardo DiCaprio and Sean Penn will be starring together in acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming untitled film. This marks the first collaboration between DiCaprio and Anderson, while Penn worked with the director most recently in the 2021 comedy-drama Licorice Pizza.
The film is set to go into production this month in California and will also star comedic actress Regina Hall in a supporting role. Additional plot details are being kept under wraps for now, but sources say the story will take place in modern day and have a more mainstream, commercial sensibility compared to some of Anderson’s past character studies like There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread.
DiCaprio and Penn joining forces on the big screen is major news, as both actors are legendary in the industry with multiple Oscar wins under their belts. 49-year-old DiCaprio has starred in some of the biggest films of the past twenty years including Titanic, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and most recently, Don’t Look Up. 62-year-old Penn’s acclaimed career stretches back to the 1980s with films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dead Man Walking, Mystic River, and Milk. This powerhouse pairing is sure to draw in audiences.
While DiCaprio has never worked with Paul Thomas Anderson before, there is an interesting bit of trivia connecting the two. When Anderson was casting his breakthrough second feature Boogie Nights back in 1996, Leo was his first choice to play the lead role of Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler. However, DiCaprio was unable to take the part due to his shooting schedule for Titanic. Mark Wahlberg ended up playing Diggler in the film that launched Anderson’s career as an acclaimed auteur. So it seems now, almost 30 years later, the stars have finally aligned for actor and director to collaborate.
Anderson is one of the most respected writer/directors of his generation, known for making bold, ambitious films about complex characters. His filmography includes Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Inherent Vice, Phantom Thread and Licorice Pizza. He has been nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture, and his films are routinely listed among the best of their respective years. So any new Paul Thomas Anderson film is cause for celebration among critics and cinephiles.
While full details on the plot are still unknown, the prospect of Anderson directing DiCaprio and Penn is extremely exciting. This prestigious production with A-list talent signals that the director may be embarking on a more mainstream project, albeit with his unique artistic sensibilities. DiCaprio in particular seems like an ideal fit for Anderson’s obsessive, troubled characters. And Penn’s intensity and gravitas will also meld well with the director’s complex themes.
Reportedly being financed and distributed by Warner Bros under their new leadership team, it appears Anderson is seizing on the opportunity to work on a larger scale production. The studio will likely give the film a prestige awards-season release late this year. So expect Oscar buzz to start swirling around DiCaprio, Penn and Anderson as more details emerge.
This hugely talented actor-director pairing has cinephiles anticipating a potential modern classic. Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait long for more details on what will undoubtedly be one of the most talked about films of 2023. But for now, movie lovers can start getting excited that Leonardo DiCaprio and Sean Penn are headlining Paul Thomas Anderson’s mysterious new project.