December 14, 2005
Blood Diamonds Film Starts Shoot in February
Leonardo DiCaprio is heading for the southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa early next year to film his latest thriller, The Blood Diamond, according to news reports. The Oscar-nominated actor
will play the role of a smuggler in the African adventure film set in Sierra Leone in 1999, a period when the region was in the middle of a civil war.
In the movie, DiCaprio specializes in "blood diamonds," also known as "conflict diamonds," which were used to finance rebellions, privateers and terrorists during the war in Sierra Leone. When the smuggler encounters an indigenous farmer whose young son has disappeared into the RUF's army of child soldiers, the two men's fates become linked.
Pre-production for the movie, reportedly boasting a budget of more than $200 million, is already under way at a resort on KwaZulu-Natal's south coast. The Blood Diamond is directed by Edward Zwick (The Last Samarai) and written by Charles Leavitt, and also stars Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou, who was featured in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.