The main object of Martin Scorsese’s focus might currently be broker drama The Wolf Of Wall Street, but that doesn’t mean he’s taken his eye off of other projects in development. That’s particularly true in the case of his long-gestating Frank Sinatra biopic, which now boasts the screenwriting savvy of Billy Ray.
Ol’ Blue Eyes has been something of a white whale for Ol’ Big Eyebrows, who has been chasing down a Frank story on the screen for years. It last pinged our news radar in 2009, when Scorsese announced that he’d finally gotten agreement from the Sinatra estate about the rights to the man’s music and life. And what a life: the boy from Hoboken, New Jersey, famously romanced half of Hollywood while finding love and marriage with Ava Gardner and later Mia Farrow (among others), hung with Kennedy, allegedly had ties to the mafia - oh, and was one of the most talented singers in history, along with some solid acting chops.
Universal is backing the plan and Sinatra’s daughter Tina is aboard as a producer. Phil Alden Robinson has already cranked out one draft of the script, but hiring Ray sends a signal that Scorsese is ready to push on further, meaning that the Sinatra project is likely to join the list of movies vying to be the director’s next project once he’s tamed the Wolf.
Ray has been busy with big assignments recently, including work on The Hunger Games, Joe Roth’s take on Peter Pan, The Thin Man remake, an untitled film with JJ Abrams, Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips and a US take on Argentinian Oscar winner The Secret In Their Eyes that he wants to direct. At this rate, when will he have time?