Frank Sinatra Biopic: What Do We Know So Far?

By Ellie Smith

1 month ago

Martin Scorsese is revisiting his original project

Martin Scorsese first announced he would be making a Frank Sinatra biopic over 15 years ago, but the film has never come to fruition. However, the director is reportedly set to revive the idea, with Leonardo DiCaprio tipped to play the lead role. 

A Frank Sinatra Biopic May Be On The Way

Nicknamed ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’, Sinatra is widely considered one of the greatest American singers of all time. He was renowned for songs like ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ and ‘Strangers In The Night’, as well as appearing in several films and on stage, often alongside his close-knit group of friends known as The Rat Pack. But he was also known for his volatile love life: Sinatra was married four times, and had numerous other high-profile relationships in between.

Back in 2009, Scorsese had backing from Hollywood studio Universal to produce a film about Sinatra’s life. While DiCaprio was initially rumoured to play Sinatra, Scorsese later revealed he planned to cast Al Pacino as the singer, alongside Robert De Niro as his Rat Pack colleague Dean Martin. He also said he planned to have multiple actors playing Sinatra, saying: ‘We can’t go through the greatest hits of Sinatra’s life. We tried this already. Just can’t do it. So the other way to go is to have three or four different Sinatras. Younger. Older. Middle-aged. Very old. You cut back and forth in time – and you do it through the music.’ 

Despite all this talk, though, the film didn’t happen, and in 2017 Scorsese said he’d given up on the idea. ‘Certain things are very difficult for a family, and I totally understand,’ Scorsese told The Toronto Sun in 2017. ‘But, if they expect me to be doing it, they can’t hold back certain things. The problem is that the man was so complex. Everybody is so complex, but Sinatra in particular… I think it is finally over. They won’t agree to it. Open it up again and I’m there!’

However, now it seems the idea is back on the table. According to Variety, Scorsese is looking to start filming following his adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s 1973 book Life Of Jesus. Before he can go ahead, though, he’ll have to get the go-ahead from Sinatra’s daughter, Tina, who controls her father’s estate. And it could be tricky to get the green light, as the film is looking to cover Sinatra’s affair with Ava Gardner, which broke up his marriage to Tina’s mother, Nancy Barbato.


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Who Could Be In The Cast?

Scorsese’s long-time collaborator DiCaprio is allegedly the frontrunner for the lead role. The pair have worked together on numerous movies, including Killers of the Flower Moon, Shutter Island, The Departed and The Wolf of Wall StreetIt’s thought Scorsese has his eyes on Jennifer Lawrence to play Gardner, who Sinatra later married. However, nothing has been confirmed yet.