As Silence debuts at number three at the British box office, Martin Scorsese has eventually thrown in the towel on another, long-gestating project. His biopic on the legendary Frank Sinatra.
Leonardo DiCaprio was set to star, Phil Alden Robinson was working on the script and the subject matter looked like a natural for the director. The iconic crooner, who rubbed shoulders with politicians and other celebrities, whose connections with gangsters were always the subject of rumour, who was a part of the rise of Las Vegas, who made music history and had an Oscar winning film career as well ….. it had Scorsese’s name written all over it.
But it’s proved difficult to get off the ground. All kinds of big ideas were floated, including shooting in 3-D and recruiting Al Pacino and Robert De Niro to play Sinatra and Rat Pack buddy Dean Martin. Scorsese, however, has decided to walk away from the project because he can’t tell the story the way he wants to.
Talking to the Toronto Sun, he said, “We can’t do it! ……. I think it’s finally over. They [the remaining members of the Sinatra clan] won’t agree to it. Open it up again and I’m there! Certain things are very difficult for a family, and I totally understand. But, if they expect me to be doing it, they can’t hold back on certain things. The problem is that the man was so complex. Everybody is so complex – but Sinatra in particular.”
All of which makes the prospect of an Ol’ Blue Eyes biopic even more mouthwatering. It’s the familiar biopic conundrum – protecting a memory versus telling it like it is. And chances are there will be a film eventually. But, sadly, it’s unlikely to have Scorsese’s name on it.
Source: The Playlist