As Martin Scorsese gears up to direct the financial-centered drama The Wolf of Wall Street, another one of his many percolating projects is moving closer to the production stage. Deadline reports that Universal Pictures has tapped Billy Ray (State of Play) to write the screenplay for the biopic Sinatra, which Scorsese has been developing for the quite some time. Little is known about the film’s plot or what aspects of Sinatra’s life will be depicted onscreen, but the hiring of a writer signals that Scorsese is keen on making Sinatra sooner rather than later.
Hit the jump for more, including a recap of what other projects Scorsese has on his plate.
The initial draft of Sinatra was written by Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams), but we learned in March of 2011 that Universal was looking for another scribe to take a crack at it. Ray most recently did work on the script for The Hunger Games and penned Paul Greengrass’ real life drama Captain Phillips. Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men, The Social Network) is still onboard as the film’s producer alongside Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatra. There’s still no word on who Scorsese would get to play the iconic singer, but we all know he’s a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio.
Following Hugo, Scorsese was set to finally tackle the 17th century Jesuit priest drama Silence, which is one of the lingering projects he’s been most passionate about making. However, for reasons unknown, the stars aligned for The Wolf of Wall Street to be Scorsese’s post-Hugo project. Rumor had it that Hugo producer Graham King—who planned on producing and financing Silence—and Scorsese had a sort of falling out that put Silence in more uncertain territory financially speaking.
In addition to Silence and Sinatra, Scorsese is also developing the mob drama The Irishman with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. At this point it’s unknown which of the three—if any—will be Scorsese’s next project after Wall Street, but I’m personally pulling for Silence to get the go-ahead. Nevertheless, Ray’s hiring signals that Scorsese is definitely serious about Sinatra getting made, so depending on how the script turns out we could see this one relatively soon.