A month ago, Leonardo DiCaprio was saying of a Viking movie project to be directed by Mel Gibson, "I'd love to see [his] version of that, because certainly with 'Apocalypto' and some of the other films he's made, he's been able to transport me back in time unlike very many filmmakers have been able to."
But now come widespread reports DiCaprio has pulled out of the planned picture due to the domestic violence allegations and the incendiary audio recordings that have dogged the Oscar-winning "Braveheart" actor-director.
"Leo has earned the right to pick and choose who he works with," a source told RadarOnline.com "and Mel Gibson is not one of them."
Gibson, 54, and DiCaprio, 35, had shaken hands on the untitled project last fall, the Los Angeles Times said in March, before all the recent unpleasantness. Being developed by Gibson's Icon Productions and Graham King - a producer of the Martin Scorsese-directed DiCaprio films "Gangs of New York" (2002), "The Aviator" (2004) and "The Departed" (2006) - the film was originally slated to begin shooting this fall.
The screenplay, by "Departed" Oscar-winner William J. Monahan, is as yet unfinished, an anonymous "source deep inside Camp DiCaprio" told E! News, saying, "There's not even a script yet. So it's not real, but it is technically still in the works. Nothing has been settled."
Regardless, said RadarOnline's source, there was "not a chance" DiCaprio would do the Viking film, which Gibson had told the L.A. Times was "the first movie I ever thought about making. I saw it in my mind back when I was a teenager. . . . And I think it will be the last film I direct. It's the thing I have been going toward, in a way, since I was young, and I think when it's done I may be finished."
And, he observed, "The real problem is making those guys sympathetic. They were monsters."
DiCaprio's publicist did not return a call and an e-mail requesting comment.