The book tells the story of Belfort's rise and fall on Wall Street. Belfort kicked off his financial career as a mere "connector," the guy who just gets the business owners on the phone and then must transfer the call to his boss. He may have felt like the lowest of the low at one point, but eventually Belfort grew to run his very own brokerage house, Stratton Oakmont. The only problem? Belfort wasn't exactly a noble businessman. When not committing securities fraud or laundering money, Belfort was busy popping Quaaludes, cheating on his wife and doing everything and anything devious you picture a filthy rich guy doing.
If all goes to plan, clearly DiCaprio would star as Belfort, but now, according to Deadline, it looks like Scorsese will only act as producer and willingly pass the directorial duties on to DiCaprio's Body of Lies bud, Scott. DiCaprio is also taking on a producer position under his Appian Way shingle and possibly Scott Free too. That Warner Bros vs. Paramount battle that stalled the initial attempt has been settled and the project now belongs to the latter, but budget and distribution details have yet to be settled. The main issue now is scheduling. It's no surprise that everyone involved is very busy, the article singling out Scott's plan to make a 3D Alien prequel and Clint Eastwood's Hoover in which DiCaprio is expected to play FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
With these guys, nothing is set in stone, so I'd suggest taking this news lightly until a more official word is delivered. All that's left to do at this point is to just keep your fingers crossed. Not only is The Wolf of Wall Street a fantastic read, but the true story of Belfort's rise and demise could make for a fantastic big screen story. Hopefully the fact that Scott has read Terry Winter's script and given it the thumbs up means Winter did the tale some justice. Deadline describing the piece as "funny, dramatic and fast paced" may sound simple and insignificant, but those are the precise assets that make the book such an enjoyable and memorable read; their preservation is key. Plus, if done right, the lead role could really be perfect for DiCaprio. Belfort is an immensely likable guy – a main reason he became so successful – but has a serious dark and manipulative side, all traits DiCaprio should have no problem portraying in a single character. I would have preferred to keep Scorsese in the director's chair for this one, but if going with Scott is the only way we'll ever see this project actually happen, it's a risk I'm willing to take.