Filmmakers as famous and prestigious as Martin Scorsese are usually juggling the development of a multitude of projects at once. This is not just a consequence of being desired for so many different films, but also a way to have various irons in the fire at one time, so that when one dies, you have four others that have a chance of catching heat. This is why Scorsese was attached to direct Gangs of New York for so long—he tried for decades to get the movie made, reaching dead end after dead end, only to finally find the right mix of financing, story, and casting in the early 2000s. It also explains why we haven’t heard much about his planned Frank Sinatra biopic in a bit, with news surfacing today that the project may be dead and gone.
“I was working on a Frank Sinatra project for a while, and I read Tina Sinatra’s memoir of her father. She called him ‘Daddy’. It would’ve been so cool. Scorsese was going to direct it, and I wrote the script.”
When asked what happened to the project, Chabon responded “The usual.” And while it certainly sounds like the film is dead, it could also just be that Chabon’s iteration is no longer in the works and that another screenwriter is taking a crack at the story.
Scorsese has been attached to direct Sinatra for quite a while, with Leonardo DiCaprio long rumored to play Sinatra in the film. It’s a solid fit for Scorsese, whose fascination with Italian-Americans and the mob makes him the perfect filmmaker to bring the complicated life of Frank Sinatra to the big screen, but it could just be that the project was never really able to come together.
Meanwhile, Scorsese is putting the finishing touches on another project he had been attached to for forever, Silence, and is expected to next direct the mob drama The Irishman. Chabon, on the other hand, reveals in the same Vulture piece that he’s working on an eight-episode true-crime limited series at Netflix, with the streaming giant currently mulling over whether to order the show or not.