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Billy Ray The Latest Writer To Tackle Martin Scorsese's Developing 'Sinatra'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
August 13, 2012 5:06 PM
2 Comments
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Billy Ray, Sinatra, Scorsese

Even as he gears up "The Wolf of Wall Street," the ever-busy Martin Scorese is keeping the fires burning on a handful of projects, including his long-developing biopic "Sinatra." In the spring of 2011, powerhouse producer Scott Rudin ("The Social Network," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") decided to throw his weight behind the endeavor, with plans to find a new writer to draft a script after Phil Alden Robinson's (”Field of Dreams,” “Sneakers”) take got the ball rolling. And back in April, Scorsese revealed he was taking some meetings, and now it seems he's found his man.

Deadline reports that "Breach" and "The Hunger Games" scribe Billy Ray has been picked to write the script. It's an interesting choice as Ray has generally leaned more toward the thriller genre, but he also did the true story thing with his directorial debut, "Shattered Glass." But just how the man's epic life will be contained into a single movie will be interesting to see, and while Leonardo DiCaprio has long been rumored for the lead, the actor himself has said the decision is in Scorsese's hands, and the director realizes the choice will be a difficult one.

"We could go for an unknown. Maybe the person who plays him isn't important. Maybe it's distracting to have a star in that role. Yet, you can't have someone else sing! It's got to be Sinatra's voice. It's tricky. It's filled with problems – and whatever you do, there's always going to be people who don't like it, so you have to find something special. And I think I've found it. Now's the time to execute it on the page," Scorsese said. We suggest Michael Fassbender.

And it should be noted, that while "Sinatra" has a home at Universal and the music and life rights are all locked up, his next movie hasn't yet been selected with his dream project "Silence" and the gangster pic "The Irishman," which would reteam him with Robert De Niro, all percolating in the background. So just consider it another baby step for now, and remember, whenever artist estates are involved, approvals for things tend to take much longer to get sorted out.

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2 Comments

  • Lou | August 14, 2012 6:36 AMReply

    I think we have discussed this before. Fassbender is NOT a good choice. I would suggest Franco. Look at the picture.

  • JD | August 13, 2012 10:38 PMReply

    This is unquestionably Scorsese's most exciting project in development, but its difficult to see where he's going to fit all of these in over the next 2 years. The issues with casting go back to 2009 where Universal wanted Depp, Sinatra's estate wanted Clooney and Scorsese pushed for Leo, in addtion, the rumour was Scorsese wanted to portray Sinatra as the hard drinking womanizer which his estate was opposed to. I'm excited to read what Billy Ray (I am surpirsed, as I didn't envision him as being the man to write this-but I trust Scorsese's judgement), can come up with whether they'll make it a biopic of the 'greatest hits' of his life (a la The Aviator) or a complete picture from youth the old age (at this point being played by Pacino?)

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