Martin Scorsese’s Next Movie May Be A Frank Sinatra Biopic

Martin Scorsese reportedly has a biopic of Frank Sinatra in the works, and is eyeing Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence to play the crooner and his second wife, Ava Gardner, respectively. 

Hot on the heels of Martin Scorsese’s award-winning historical drama Killers of the Flower Moon is an exciting announcement on the filmmaker’s next potential project: a biopic on the life of beloved crooner Frank Sinatra. At 81-years-old the talented director doesn’t show any signs of stopping as various media outlets have recently reported on the upcoming Sinatra movie, as well as another film based on Shūsaku Endō’s 1973 book Life of Jesus, according to Tatiana Siegel of Variety

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese/Photo via Instagram @martinscorsese_

Apple enjoyed a successful partnership with Scorsese given the popularity and accolades that their Killers of the Flower Moon earned, yet Siegel states that Sony may be the studio that will end up handling the monumental project. 

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Though there hasn’t been a lot of information about the Sinatra biopic, as the singer’s daughter Tina Sinatra (who manages his estate) has yet to give her blessing, here’s what we do know: 

Critically-Acclaimed Leads

Scorsese has long been trying to get the Sinatra biopic greenlit (as far back as 2009, according to Ben Child of The Guardian). From the beginning, the filmmaker was already eyeing his frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio to play Ol’ Blue Eyes, and sources have told Variety that his vision remains. Radhika Seth of Vogue adds that Scorsese plans to have Jennifer Lawrence play Sinatra’s second wife, actress Ava Gardner, for the movie. 

Given how the film hasn’t been finalized, these casting choices aren’t set in stone. If the two Oscar-winning stars do end up starring in the film, it wouldn’t be their first time collaborating, as they previously starred in 2021’s dark apocalyptic comedy, Don’t Look Up

As for what the movie will be about, more specifically, that remains to be seen. Scorsese is a master at showcasing the complexities of human relationships and marriages (see 1993’s Age of Innocence and his recent masterpiece on the Osage people), so if the film will be highlighting Sinatra’s relationship with Garnder, there’s a lot of source material to work with. 

Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner in 1951
Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner in 1951/Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The two shared a tumultuous yet intense relationship, as Gardner herself lived an eventful life worthy of an entire movie on its own. As Hadley Hall Meares described in a Vanity Fair article on the starlet’s relationships, Sinatra and Gardner’s fights were “legendary” and their “make-ups loud.” The two officially separated in 1957, and Sinatra would go on to marry actress Mia Farrow while Gardner remained unmarried until her death at the age of 67.

A Story in the Works

As with any project dealing with the story of an actual historical figure, especially one with a legacy as big as Sinatra’s, certain creative differences may lead to setbacks. Sinatra’s descendants, particularly his daughter Tina, didn’t completely agree with the filmmaker’s early vision of the movie, according to Andrew Pulver of The Guardian

Scorsese wanted to focus on the more “hard-hitting” aspects of Sinatra’s life, including his connections with New York’s organized crime scene. However, Tina wanted a movie that would depict the “softer” side of her father and focus more on his career in music. The filmmaker eventually dropped the project in 2017, though it’s now making a comeback, which could hint at a possible reconciliation between his vision and that of Sinatra’s estate. 

Despite their differences, Tina and Scorsese share an amicable relationship, which gives cinephiles plenty of hope that a biopic can still happen. “Marty and I have been dance partners for a long time and not once has he stepped on my toes!” she told TMZ in an interview on the matter, “Always here for Marty.”

Banner photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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