Martin Scorsese is to team with Universal and Mandalay Pictures on Sinatra, a biopic of the legendary singer which the great man will produce and direct. The script has been written by Philip Alden Robinson, the writer of the classic Field of Dreams.
Scorsese has long-considered undertaking a biopic of Sinatra, probably understandable given his place in the pantheon of heroes for Italian-Americans and his associations with gangsters and organised crime in his day.
No actor is yet attached by Variety strongly speculates that Leonardo DiCaprio is a primary candidate given his transition to become Scorsese’s acting muse over the past decade or so. The trade notes that it won’t be necessary to have an actor with singing chops (akin to Kevin Spacey’s take on Bobby Darin in Under the Sea) as all the songs included in the movie would be taken from past recordings.
Producer Cathy Shulman said the process of acquiring the rights to Sinatra’s life story provided “very complicated” and indicates that tapping Scorsese to head the project eventually swung the pendulum in their favour.
“Everyone knows that Marty Scorsese is a final-cut director. So there had to be a lot of trust that he would tell this story in a way that didn’t destroy (Sinatra’s) memory.”
She goes on to describe the project as an unconventional biopic which will examine all aspects of Sinatra’s somewhat colourful life.
Tina Sinatra, the daughter of the late star, said:
“My father had great admiration for the talent of the people he chose to work with, and the talented people who worked with my father had great admiration for him. It is personally pleasing to me that this paradigm continues with Marty Scorsese at the helm of the Sinatra film.”
Sounds like a perfect fit, although I would immediately worry about the pitfalls which can strike in telling biopic stories, especially with such a touchy subject in Sinatra. Could be very interesting to see where this one goes.