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Scorsese Talks Sinatra Biopic Possibilities: HBO Miniseries vs. Movie? 'Now's The Time to Execute It On The Page'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood April 9, 2012 at 1:41PM

After his positive experience with HBO on "Boardwalk Empire" and the prestigious Oscar-winning money-loser "Hugo," Martin Scorsese is reconsidering the way to proceed with his Frank Sinatra biopic.
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Frank Sinatra

After his positive experience with HBO on "Boardwalk Empire" and the prestigious Oscar-winning money-loser "Hugo," Martin Scorsese is reconsidering the way to proceed with his Frank Sinatra biopic. Now what was once a "pretty far off twinkle in his eye" is on the front burner, he told Entertainment Tonight. He's currently talking to writers. Scorsese said that while he'd "love to tell the whole story" of Sinatra's life, "the idea of art is to figure out where to start because we can't tell his whole life story." But clearly he's still considering doing just that. "It would be 15 hours -- then you've got something like a miniseries, along the lines of 'Boardwalk Empire.'"

Even with finding the right starting point, 15 hours could easily be filled with parts or chunks of Sinatra's life. Scorsese says he loves the idea of a Sinatra miniseries, especially at HBO; "as long as you stay reasonably on budget, you have freedom which is very difficult to find in the cinematic marketplace."

As for who will play Sinatra, Scorsese agrees that Leonardo DiCaprio (with whom he is making "The Wolf of Wall Street" later this summer - the fifth pairing of the director and actor) could do it, and has "always talked about doing it." But, Scorsese adds: "We could go for an unknown. Maybe the person who plays him isn't important." It will be Sinatra's voice either way.

A Sinatra biopic would always be "filled with problems," Scorsese admitted. "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."

Here's more on why we're thankful for Scorsese.
 

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, News, News, Biopics, Directors, Television, TV, HBO, TV News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.