Leonardo DiCarpio to Star in ‘The Crowded Room’, the Biopic of a Man with 24 Different Personalities

9:46 AM EDT 3/12/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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Leonardo DiCaprio may soon finally get to play the role he's been eying at since 1997 - that of Billy Milligan, the first person to successfully use multiple personality disorder as a defense in a court of law, according to The Hollywood Reporter. With his Appian Way, the actor has come aboard to produce The Crowded Room with New Regency, while Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg have been hired to write the adapted script. In addition to starring, he will serve as a producer along with Jennifer Davisson and Alexandra Milchan.  Appian and New Regency will reportedly not be approach directors until the script for the project is completed.

As scriptwriter, Smilovic and Katzberg will be penning a new screenplay based on Daniel Kaye's 1981 non-fiction novel "The Minds of Billy Milligan," which chronicles the central character's true story, including his court trial during the late 1970s in Ohio after being charged with armed robbery and raping three women on the Ohio State University campus. In the course of preparing his defense, he was made to undertake psychological examination. He was diagnosed Milligan with acute schizophrenia and was found to be suffering from multiple personality disorder. He pleaded an insanity defense, and he was committed to a series of state-run mental institutions. After a decade, he was finally released from the Ohio mental health system and the Ohio courts on August 1, 1991. He died December 12 last year at age 59.

Milligan had 24 distinct personalities sharing his body including Adalana, a lesbian admitting responsibility for the rapes; Ragen, a Yugoslavian communist who admitted to the robbery; and Arthur, a sophisticated, learned Englishman. The others, aside from Billy himself, are the manipulative Allen, the electronics expert and painter Tommy, the often-scared Danny, the eight-year-old David, the three-year-old Christene, the harmonica-playing Christopher, the thug Phil, the scheming Kevin, the Australian big-game hunter Walter, the bitter April, the Jewish Samuel, the zombie-like Mark, the wise-cracking Steve, the prankster Lee, the pressure-tough Jason, the dreamer Bobby, the four-year-old deaf boy Shawn, the snobbish Martin, the gay Timothy, and the one called Teacher who has almost total recall of all the other personalities' actions and thoughts.

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