Contact Us
News

DiCaprio's Long-Awaited Oscar Came From a Movie Written by an Ex-Mayer Brown Partner

Leonardo DiCaprio's long-awaited Oscar for Best Leading Actor arrived at the Academy Awards this weekend. The Revenant, in which Leo starred, also picked up Best Director for Alejandro Iñárritu and Best Achievement in Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki.

The author of the book from which the celebrated film is adapted? Former Mayer Brown partner Michael Punke, who's now a Deputy USTR and Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva.

Michael composed the book in Mayer Brown's K Street office in DC, writes the Washington Post, after he came across a mention of historical figure Hugh Glass (the fur trapper around whom the story centers), when reading on an airplane. The book was published in 2002 and Michael sold its movie rights.

Lest you think Michael's off on a press tour celebrating the Oscar wins, think again. Thanks to his government post, it would be a violation of federal ethics rules for Michael to do any side work. That means no promotion allowed, whether it's interviews or book signings.

While the celebs starring in his movie were strolling the red carpet for the film's LA premiere in December, Michael was negotiating a $1.3 trillion trade deal in Nairobi. [WaPo]