May 24, 2010

Huh?


Martin Scorsese has long been linked to a Frank Sinatra biopic, and this is a project I've been keenly interested in because of the amazing, colorful life that Sinatra lived plus the skill set of Scorsese as a story teller seem to add up to a fantastic biopic.  The role of Sinatra in a Scorsese directed movie would obviously be very sought after and rumors have linked every one from his recent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio (who would skew too young for a large chunk of the film) to Goodfellas alumni Ray Liotta, who played Old Blue Eyes in an HBO biopic a few years back with names like George Clooney and even Johnny Depp also mentioned.   Part of the issue with casting this part is deciding, as a story teller, who you want to tell this tale.  Sinatra's story spans several decades making it extremely difficult to cast one actor in the role. His career began in 1935 and he was still a larger-than-life performer when he died in 1998.  Scorsese hasn't said what his plan is for the movie: if it will be one actor, aided by make up and special effects, multiple actors, two actors, one old, one young, or if the film won't be about his entire life, and rather just a focused chapter and will only require one actor.   But his recent comments to Indian paper The Hindu on the casting for the movie have left me scratching my head: his first choice for the role is seventy year old Al Pacino.

Huh?

"I'm yet to spot the actor who can bring Frank Sinatra alive on screen.  My choice is Al Pacino." He wants to cast a 70-year old man to play Frank Sinatra?  There's literally nothing of interest - in a life filled with interesting things - that happened to Sinatra after his 70th birthday.  I somehow doubt that the film will focus on his sad slide into senile dementia prior to his death, so this casting call is a bit odd.  He also wants to have long-time film collaborator Robert DeNiro to join the cast as Rat Pack member and Sinatra buddy Dean Martin.  66-year old Robert DeNiro will play Dean Martin, who died at 78.   Again, exactly what part of their lives are we focusing on?  The Rat Pack era was the late 1950's and into the early 1960's.  The only thing that Dean Martin did in his sixties of any interest was appearing in Cannonball Run II.   There's a world of difference between the young, good looking crooner that arrived on the scene in the mid 30's and the old, weathered silver haired chairman of the board; and in between those two men are decades of fascinating fodder for this film.  The only thing that makes sense with these casting ideas is that perhaps the movie will be framed with Sinatra in his older years (perhaps the ill-fated 1988 Rat Pack reunion tour) looking back on his life, with other actors playing him in the earlier decades.  But, it's worth noting that the quote from Scorsese says he's yet to spot "the actor" not actors, that can bring Sinatra to life.    If this ever goes before cameras - Scorsese has a few other projects in varying degrees of development - it will be interesting to see how who steps up to the mic as Sinatra.

1 comment: