February 12, 1999 12:00 AM

While reports continue to circulate that Leonardo DiCaprio may star in “Godfather IV,” Variety reports this morning that the star has signed with Disney and director Michael Mann to do a film bio of the reclusive billionaire industrialist Howard Hughes. Hughes went from being a dashing bachelor (he and Katharine Hepburn were long an item, before she met Spencer Tracy) to a germaphobic eccentric (crazy man was more like it) who bought Las Vegas hotels from the Mafia chieftains who originated the gaming capital. Originally, says Variety, Mann and Leo had tried to collaborate on a movie bio about ’50s screen icon James Dean, but that project never came to fruition. John Logan will write the Hughes script.

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