DiCaprio bringing Josh Bazell’s BEAT THE REAPER to HBO.

Josh Bazell’s critically acclaimed debut novel, BEAT THE REAPER, has taken a big step towards becoming a television series.

Deadline is reporting that HBO has purchased the rights to the proposed series. New Regency would produce it with Leonardo DiCaprio acting as executive producer. When New Regency acquired the rights to the novel, they were looking to make a film with Leo in the lead role. But since then, there have been personnel changes within NR and the current powers that be felt the material was better suited for the small screen.

Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan’s worst hospital. He has a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he’d prefer to keep hidden. Whether it’s a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Pietro “Bearclaw” Brnwna is a hit man for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Protection Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he’s the last person you want to see in your hospital room.

Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is Dr. Brown’s new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might — just might — be the same person . . .

Now with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours — and somehow beat the Reaper.

Writing duties are being handled by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The duo have worked together for the past 14 years and are currently threatening to inflict NATIONAL TREASURE III on the World. Their resume includes OCEANS THIRTEEN, ROUNDERS and the remake of WALKING TALL.