On the Beach: Dark and Violent, 'The Beach' Is Leonardo DiCaprio's Much-Anticipated New Movie. It's Given the Pouting Party Boy Titanic PR Problems - and May Leave 'Leomaniacs' High and Dry
Chang, Yahlin, Newsweek
For someone who hates reporters, Leonardo DiCaprio has certainly made their lives easy. There's always another bar fight, a public make-out session or a night out prowling with his gang, the tastefully named "pussy posse." The gossip machine followed the 25-year-old superstar all the way to Thailand last year, where he filmed "The Beach," which hits theaters Feb. 11. During production, local environmentalists accused the filmmakers of trashing the island where they were shooting, and protested by putting on Leo masks and bloody fangs. (The filmmakers said they left the beach better than they found it.) At the same time, rumors started flying about Leo and his costar Virginie Ledoyen--the most sensational was that he had gotten her pregnant. Both stars have denied having a relationship. But all the publicity has helped make "The Beach" one of the most highly anticipated movies of the season--so anticipated that Fox executives are getting nervous. Even though they shelled out $20 million for Leo (out of the movie's $50 million budget), they don't want anyone expecting "Titanic."
Based on Alex Garland's best-selling novel, and produced by the unsurpassingly hip "Trainspotting" team (director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew MacDonald, screenwriter John Hodge), "The Beach" follows a Gen-X backpacker named Richard (DiCaprio) on his search for a secret island paradise he's only heard about. On the way, he falls for a woman named Francoise (Ledoyen), and she and her boyfriend join the quest. They finally reach the perfect beach after a series of cinematic adventures, including a jump off a 120-foot waterfall. They fish, they swim, they smoke a lot of pot. But before long, nirvana unravels; nightmarish violence ensues; "Road Rules" runs smack into "Lord of the Flies. …