The true story of the Rwandan national biking team is coming to the big screen, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Bay set to produce. So far, DiCaprio has not signed on to star in the feature.
The movie focuses on Jacques “Jock” Boyer, who held the distinction of being the first American cyclist to race in the Tour de France. The Bible-reading Seventh-Day Adventist, who subsisted on a strict diet of nuts and berries, was a misfit among the other cyclists, but he went on to win over 40 races before retiring at age 32. After Boyer started getting into trouble and spending time in jail, he found a second chance in the war-torn country of Rwanda, which was in the midst of rebuilding.
Boyer formed Team Rwanda with a group of weary but tough Rwandan boys who had survived the horrors of the genocide inflicted on the country in the 1990s. The young men were forced to brawl with thieves to protect their bikes from being stolen. Boyer took the team on races all over the world. One of the cyclists, Adrien Niyonshuti, who lost six brothers during the genocide, later triumphed by making his way to the 2012 London Olympics, where he competed in mountain bike cross-country event.
Orlando von Einsiedel, known for his Oscar Award-nominated documentary Virunga, will direct.
In the past few years DiCaprio has emerged as a prolific filmmaker, focusing as much, if not more, on producing as acting. However, he is starring as frontiersman Hugh Glass in the adventure movie The Revenant, out Dec. 25.