The Volkswagen scandal gets the Hollywood treatment as Leonardo DiCaprio and Paramount are to turn it into a film

Madeline Ratcliffe
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DiCaprio is a vocal climate change campaigner (Source: Getty)

The Wolf of Wall Street is turning his attention to saving the planet, after Leonardo DiCaprio snapped up the film rights to a new book on the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

DiCaprio's film company Appian Way will be in the driving seat, turning an as-yet unnamed and unpublished book on the scandal by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing on the VW scandal into a Hollywood blockbuster for Paramount studios.

It's been reported that the publishing rights for the book were sold for a six-figure sum to publishers Norton earlier in the month.

New York literary agent Marly Rusoff described Ewing's non-fiction book as “the story of Volkswagen's clean diesel fuel and how a 'more, better, faster' ethos fuelled one of the greatest frauds in corporate history.”

Ewing is European economics correspondent for the International New York Times, and one of the journalists to break the story in September.

Read more: All you need to know about the VW scandal

DiCaprio, whose company produced Wolf of Wall Street, is one of Hollywood's best-known eco-warriors and has launched a fund for environmental causes which has called for divestment from fossil fuels.

In 2007 he produced and narrated the documentary The 11th Hour, which warned of the consequences of a lack of action to slow down the pace of climate change.

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, has said 11m cars around the world have been fitted with software to help cheat emisisons tests, which was first discovered in 500,000 cars in the US.

Since then more than £20bn has been wiped off the company's value.

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