Entertainment & Arts

Leonardo DiCaprio to produce Volkswagen scandal film

Leonardo DiCaprio Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Environmental campaigner DiCaprio is seen here sitting in the audience during a press conference to announce further business divestment from fossil fuels in New York

Leonardo DiCaprio is to produce a film about the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

His production company Appian Way and Paramount Pictures have bought the rights to an as-yet-unwritten book about the scandal, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It is not known whether DiCaprio will star in the film.

Last month the German car manufacturer admitted 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide are fitted with software that beat emission tests.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US found that many VW cars being sold in America had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results.

The "defeat device" allows cars to pass lab testing even though they actually emit 40 times the emissions standard.

Chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned after the scandal broke.

VW have recalled almost 500,000 cars in the US alone and it has set aside €6.5bn (£4.7bn) to cover costs.

The book proposal about the scandal is by New York Times journalist Jack Ewing and it will reportedly explore the "more, better, faster'' ethos and how it played into the scandal.

DiCaprio has produced a number of environmental documentaries including the 2014 films Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and Virunga, about the battle to save the last of the world's mountain gorillas.

His environmental foundation has given $30m in grants since it was founded in 1998.

In 2013, he announced he would enter a team in the new electric motor racing championship Formula E.

The actor, an environmental campaigner, said: "The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles."

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