Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on for the role of Billy Milligan, a man acquitted of both rape and robbery because he exhibited 24 personalities, in the upcoming film The Crowded Room. Contact Music calls the role DiCaprio’s ‘most interesting yet,’ and believes it will make the actor an Oscar contender for next year. The film project is based on the 1981 non-fiction book The Minds of Billy Milligan by author Daniel Keyes.
Billy Milligan died in 2014 at the age of 59. He was accused of robbery and of raping three women on the campus of Ohio State University in 1977. He and is lawyers argued at his trial that because he had so many personalities, he wasn’t aware the crimes had been committed. One of his personalities named Adalana–a lesbian who cooked and cleaned–admitted to the rapes, and a Yugoslavian communist named Ragen admitted to the robberies.
Leonardo DiCaprio won’t just star in The Crowded Room. His production company, Appian Way, will produce the film, too. James Cameron is said to be directing.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Leonardo DiCaprio has considered the role of Billy Milligan for almost two decades, but the timing was never quite right. The project itself has been dormant for about ten years.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 1, 2015
Many believe Matthew McConaughey stole an Oscar right out from under DiCaprio when he, too, landed a role in The Wolf of Wall Street. Will The Crowded Room provide Leonardo DiCaprio with his own time to shine?
The Crowded Room definitely sounds like an exciting role, and Leonardo DiCaprio will no doubt ace it. There’s no word yet as to when the film will even begin shooting, so it’s unlikely that it will hit theaters for at least a year.