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Scandal to screen: DiCaprio linked to possible Volkswagen film

The ongoing Volkswagen scandal may make it to the big screen. A US movie studio and actor Leonardo DiCaprio's production company have acquired movie rights to a book proposal on the German carmaker's emissions cheating.

It hasn't even been a month - but in Hollywood, time is money. On September 18, environmental regulators in the United States accused German auto industry giant Volkswagen of intentionally cheating on vehicle emissions tests.

What followed was a

scandal of epic proportions

which led to the resignation of VW chief Martin Winterkorn, tumbling stock prices and a potential legal minefield. But could it be a blockbuster?

Movie studio Paramount Pictures and Appian Way - the production company belonging to American actor Leonardo DiCaprio - have bought the film rights to a book proposal from "New York Times" journalist Jack Ewing about the ongoing debacle.

Ewing's as-yet untitled book was expected to explore how Volkswagen's internal ethos fueled

the massive fraud

which has affected some 11 million vehicles worldwide.

DiCaprio is no stranger to tackling such based-on-a-true-story issues. He was the producer and star of "The Wolf of Wall Street" which focused on investor fraud, and is one of Hollywood's most

outspoken advocates on environmental issues

.

The repercussions from the cheating revelations continued on Monday. International credit rating agency Standard & Poor's

cut the automaker's long-term debt rating

and the European Investment Bank announced it could potentially demand billions in loans back from Volkswagen.

se/jr (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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