Scorsese Signs on For Sinatra Pic - NBC 7 San Diego

Scorsese Signs on For Sinatra Pic

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    The leader of the "Rat Pack" will get cinematic treatment from Scorsese.

    Martin Scorsese has inked a deal to bring Old Blue Eyes to the silver screen.

    The as yet untitled Frank Sinatra film will be "an unconventional biopic," said Mandalay Pictures President Cathy Shulman, who is co-producing the film with Mandalay Chairman Peter Guber.

    "It's not a cradle-to-the-grave traditional portrait of the consecutive events in a man's life," Shulman said. "Instead it's more of a collage and, in many ways, it will feel like an album itself. It's a collection of various moments and impressions in his life and together we hope they'll tell the full story and present full themes."

    Scorsese signed a deal with Universal Studios and Mandalay Pictures to direct a the chairman of the board's biopic. “Field of Dreams” scribe Phil Alden Robinson will write the script and Sinatra’s daughter, Tina will executive produce the picture.

    Robinson has spent "at least a year buried in 30,000 pages of research" to write the screenplay, Schulman said.

    No casting decisions have been made and no production date has been determined, but the blogosphere is already bracing for, and decrying, word that Leonardo DiCaprio, Scorsese’s go to guy will land the title role.

    “I'm ... not heartened by the news, from one of the film's producers, that Leonardo DiCaprio is at the front of the line to play Old Blue Eyes,” writes Entertainment Weekly’s Sean Smith. “There's no doubt he's a fine actor, and probably a cool casting choice, but the Sinatra film would become the fifth movie Scorsese and DiCaprio make together. (Their third, a 1954 thriller called Shutter Island, comes out this fall.) I think it may be time for both men to see other people.”

    It took two years to secure the rights to Sinatra's life and music, Shulman said. Warner Music Group and the Sinatra estate are partners on the project.

    Sinatra's daughter, Tina, said it was "personally pleasing" to know Scorsese would oversee the celluloid version of her father's life story..

    "My father had great admiration for the talent of the people he chose to work with, and the talented people who worked with my father had great admiration for him," she said, adding, "to me that this paradigm continues with Marty Scorsese at the helm of the Sinatra film."

    An iconic entertainer, Sinatra was known for his smooth voice and even smoother personal style. He was part of the Rat Pack that included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford. He was also known to be cozy with mafia types, a story twist that some fear will be left out of the film.

    Sinatra "was indisputably the 20th century's greatest singer of popular song," according to Rolling Stone.

    "Not only did his freely interpretive approach pave the way for the idiosyncrasies of rock singing, but with his character a mix of tough-guy cool and romantic vulnerability, he became the first true pop idol, a superstar who through his music established a persona audiences found compelling and true," the magazine says on its Web site.

    Sinatra, who died in 1998, performed on more than 1,400 musical recordings, was awarded 31 gold records and earned 10 Grammys. He also appeared in 58 films and won a supporting-actor Oscar for 1953's "From Here to Eternity." In 1971, he was presented with another Oscar: the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

    Sinatra's story has been told before on the small screen. A 1992 made-for-TV movie, "Sinatra," starred Philip Casnoff in the title role. It won a Golden Globe for best miniseries and an Emmy for director James Sadwith. Ray Liotta also played Sinatra in the 1998 HBO film, "The Rat Pack."