Anybody who has lived in the wonderful city of Hoboken, New Jersey, will instantly find excitement in this news, though it won’t take much to conjur the same response from others. Earlier today, reports circulated that Martin Scorcese has just signed on to direct and produce a biopic on Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra (talk about “best possible director/material fit”). The title: Sinatra, simply enough.
I’m no historian on Franky Sinister’s life, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not pumped for this. The guy was born in Hoboken, for starters—-when you move into Hoboken, that’s the first thing that anybody mentions. A rite of passage. Aside from the project being handled by Scorcese, though, the most-failsafe reason why Sinatra should at the least be massively entertaining is that the guy’s life was one of the most colorful, eventful, and storied in all of pop culture. The Mafia connections, musical legacy, and rampant sexual romps with starlets. His time spent with the Rat Pack, the years as an actor.
Phil Alden Robinson, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Field of Dreams, has his work cut out for him in scripting this; the thought of condensing such a dynamic life into a two-hour-plus film seems like it could bring on the stress seen within Francis Ford Coppola in the Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse documentary. (More after the jump, including some casting ideas for the title role, other than Leonardo Dicaprio, the obvious Scorcese call)
Don’t fool yourselves into thinking that we’ll see Sinatra any time soon, however. The script isn’t even completed, first of all, but then you also have to take into account that Scorcese, like so many other prominent filmmakers, is a guy who attachs himself to in-development project after in-develoment project. Most notably, there’s I Heard You Paint Houses, a “based on a true story” mob saga that’s supposed to mark his reunion with Robert DeNiro. It could be a handful of years before Sinatra materializes. Doesn’t mean we can’t wait with baited breath, though.
What can be done for now is the speculation of who’ll play Frank Sinatra. The unimaginative choice is, obviously, Leonardo Dicaprio, considering his ongoing working relationship with Scorcese. But Dicaprio looks a bit too young in the mug for this; they need to cast a much older, chiseled looking fella. I’ll offer a few suggestions (for my own amusement), in no particular order:
1) Brad Pitt:
Only because he can do no wrong in my eyes acting-wise. His being one of the biggest celebrities on the planet always distracts people from the fact that he’s a dynamite actor, which sucks. Go rent Burn After Reading, or The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford if you think that Benjamin Button is all he’s done more-than-well lately. Dye his hair black for this one, and we’d be in business. The Scorcese/role-of-Sinatra combination could be the proper winning formula for his first Oscar statue, and he certainly has enough charm and charisma to believably play Franky S. So, why not? (***Patting myself on the back for avoiding an Inglourious Basterds title-drop here…..fuck, I knew I couldn’t do it!***)
2) Timothy Olyphant:
This would be out-of-the-box casting, but a hunch tells me that Olyphant could be pull this off. He’s one of those talented actors that remains on the fringe of a total breakthrough due to questionable role choices—–as much as I’m personally excited that he’s a part of it, the remake of George A. Romero’s The Crazies that he’s currently filming isn’t going to have the Ang Lees of the game calling. Fans of Deadwood, though, know that the guy has chops to spare. It’d be interesting to see him take on a role of this magnitude.
3) Christian Slater:
This one will never happen, but damn if Slater doesn’t resemble Sinatra in some ways. Slater’s career almost regained some juice with last year’s My Own Worst Enemy television show, but that shit was cancelled before you could say “Episode Six.” Maybe Scorcese is a huge fan of Pump Up the Volume, though, and wants to see Slater bounce back. Highly unlikely.
4) A young Jack Nicholson:
Obviously this one’s a goof. Every time I look at this pic of Sinatra, though, I keep seeing Jack, circa Easy Rider (which explains my above Christian Slater choice…..Slater and Young Jack are such bizarros). Let’s get some J.J. Abrams’ time travel machine up and running to make this happen. Keep dreaming, of course.
***That’s all I’ve got for now. Any other casting suggestions???
News spotted over at: Coming Soon