At a Cannes Film Festival charity auction as star-studded as one of the Great Gatsby’s parties, a pitch rang out that sounded like a sci-fi sequel to “Catch Me If You Can.”
“How would you like to go to space with Leonardo DiCaprio?” said an auctioneer, the actress Nicole Kidman.
“I can’t believe he offered this, by the way,” she added.
The lot? A ticket on the maiden voyage of Virgin Galactic sitting right next to Gatsby, himself, Leonardo DiCaprio. It was not clear who would get the armrest.
After three days of astronaut training, the winner would join a flight set to take off from the California desert this fall, detach from the mothership and launch all the way into orbit.
Virgin Galactic is a commercial successor to the space shuttle and one of several new ventures offering tourism in space.
“We have one million euro,” said another auctioneer, actress Sharon Stone. “We’re looking for one million two to go with Leonardo DiCaprio for three days’ training and into outer space!”
DiCaprio’s association with “Titanic” and its maiden voyage was not mentioned.
Nor was his star turn in “The Aviator” as billionaire Howard Hughes, whose experimental plane -”Let’s build a plane that flies above the weather, cross the country, cross the world” – crash lands in Beverly Hills.
No, DiCaprio’s first role in a space suit will be as a passenger, not an actor.
“Live a little – it’s outer space!” Stone exhorted her well-heeled audience.
“Million-two here going once. … Million-two going twice. … We’re selling!” Stone said.
$1.5 million. The winner was a Russian billionaire, who’ll soon be getting a close-up look at the stars in more ways than one.
Watch the full story on “World News With Diane Sawyer” tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.