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Martin Scorsese Still Wants to Make a Frank Sinatra Biopic Starring Leonardo DiCaprio

Scorsese has been trying to get a Sinatra movie off the ground since 2009.

martin scorsese leonardo dicaprio frank sinatra
Source: Mega; Frank Sinatra Enterprises, LLC

The late crooner's estate has yet to give its blessing to the project.

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Martin Scorsese still really wants to make a Frank Sinatra biopic.

Sources tell Variety that the legendary 81-year-old director, fresh off of last year's Killers of the Flower Moon, plans to start filming immediately after shooting A Life of Jesus, his upcoming movie based on a 1973 book of the same name by Silence author Shūsaku Endō.

Sinatra's daughter Tina, who controls the late crooner's estate — including music and image rights — has yet to give her blessing to the project. But Scorsese has reportedly already started putting together an A-list cast, with frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio set to play Ol' Blue Eyes alongside Jennifer Lawrence as his second wife Ava Gardner.

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leonardo dicaprio
Source: MEGA

Leonardo DiCaprio is set to play Ol' Blue Eyes alongside Jennifer Lawrence as his second wife Ava Gardner.

This isn't the first time that Scorsese has tried to get a Sinatra movie off the ground. The idea behind the project dates all the way back to 2009, when DiCaprio was already rumored to be the director's first choice for the lead.

"We can't go through the greatest hits of Sinatra’s life. We tried this already. Just can’t do it," Scorsese said in an interview a year later. "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. See what I'm saying? So that's what we're trying for. It's very tricky."

In 2011, Scorsese told ShortList that the script was still in progress. "It's very hard because here is a man who changed the entire image of the Italian-American," he said. And that’s just one thing. Along with his political work, civil rights, the mob..."

Scorsese reportedly planned to cast Al Pacino as an older Sinatra and De Niro as Dean Martin. At one point, novelist Michael Chabon was working on the script. But the production eventually fell apart over disagreements between Scorsese and Tina Sinatra about the direction of the film.

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martin scorsese
Source: MEGA

Scorsese has been trying to get a Sinatra movie off the ground since 2009.

"Marty wants it to be hard-hitting and showcase the violent, sexually-charged, hard-drinking Frank, but Tina wants to show the softer side of her dad and let the focus be on the music," an unnamed source claimed at the time.

By 2017, Scorsese had pulled the plug on the project. "We can’t do it!" he lamented to the Toronto Sun. "I think it is finally over. They (remaining members of the Sinatra clan) won't agree to it."

"Certain things are very difficult for a family, and I totally understand," he explained. "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."

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frank sinatra
Source: Universal Music Enterprises

'Everybody is so complex — but Sinatra in particular,' Scorsese said.

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Even then, Scorsese hadn't given up hope completely. "Open it up again and I’m there!" he said.

As Tina Sinatra still hasn't signed off on the movie, it's not clear what's changed since then — but Scorsese seems to be feeling optimistic about his chances, at least.


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