Paramount Pictures’ (NASDAQ:VIA) The Wolf of Wall Street is set to be released on December 25 when it is widely expected to be one of the biggest hits of the holiday en route to the Oscars. Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Matthew McConaughey, The Wolf of Wall Street tells the true story of rogue trader Jordan Belfort’s rise and fall in the 1990′s, in which he launched the Stratton Oakmont “boiler room” brokerage and caused over $200 million in losses for investors before winding up with a federal indictment for securities fraud and money laundering.
It may be hard to believe that any movie directed by Scorsese and starring DiCaprio could find money hard to come by, but the actor tells The Wall Street Journal that the level of excess needed to do the story justice made financing difficult. “It’s an R-rated film, and it needed to have a certain amount of scale and scope,” DiCaprio told the Street. Ironically, DiCaprio would later convince Wall Street financiers to fund the film along with Paramount after Warner Bros. passed following a long development stage.
However, DiCaprio explains that the five years developing the film may have ultimately improved it as the actor was able to spend additional time with a helpful and candid Belfort. After serving twenty-two months in prison for his crimes, Belfort began to build a career as a motivational speaker and DiCaprio describes that he was ”incredibly open about his life, especially the most embarrassing parts.”