Scorsese Wants Pacino & De Niro For Sinatra Biopic

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:13 pm,

Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island is opening in India (finally), so the acclaimed director has been overseas doing the obligatory promotion and press tour.

The Indian paper The Hindu took the opportunity to question Scorsese about some of his upcoming projects, including the long-gestating Frank Sinatra biopic that we’ve been keeping tabs on for months now.

Scorsese has already made it known that capturing the life of Frank Sinatra on film is a tricky thing. The legendary singer had an…eventful time on Earth: He was born to Italian immigrant parents in Hoboken, New Jersey in the early 1900s; his mother ran an illegal abortion business that got her arrested multiple times; while Frank himself was arrested at an early age for sleeping with a married woman (a crime back then). And this is all BEFORE his epic music career even started.

In order to capture the essence of Frank Sinatra in full, Scorsese has expressed a desire to make a non-traditional biopic, which would jump back and forth in time across Sinatra’s life, with his music providing the narrative through-line which ties everything together. Admittedly it’s a very interesting idea (especially with Scorsese at the helm), but one that would require several actors portraying Sinatra at different ages. Many names have been tossed out for the Sinatra role (Leo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp being two of them), however Scorsese already has ideas about who would play the older version of Frank.

frank sinatra Scorsese Wants Pacino & De Niro For Sinatra Biopic

As Scorsese told The Hindu about his Sinatra biopic:

“I’ve had it in mind for a long time. Even the initial script is ready. I’m yet to spot the actor who can bring back Frank Sinatra alive on screen. My choice is Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro as Dean Martin.”

De Niro and Pacino teaming up to play two Rat Pack legends – who WOULDN’T love that? It certainly would be a better De Niro/Pacino team up than Righteous Kill ever was. In fact, a scene of Pacino and De Niro sitting down to chat as old Sinatra and Martin would be very much in line with the now-classic scene they shared in Michael Mann’s Heat. I will gladly champion any film that could potienally deliver something so iconic and epic. Let’s hope it happens.

deniro pacino small Scorsese Wants Pacino & De Niro For Sinatra Biopic

De Niro and Pacino in Righteous Kill

What about you – do you think Scorsese’s time-hopping approach to a Sinatra biopic is the way to go? And does the thought of De Niro and Pacino once again sharing the screen (even for a little bit) as Sinatra and Martin give you goosebumps? Or do you question whether or not Pacino in particular is a good fit to play Frank? (I’m sure you wouldn’t be the only one.)

We’ll let you know more about Scorsese’s Frank Sinatra biopic as it (slowly but surely) unfolds.

Source: The Hindu via The Playlist

TAGS: Sinatra
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Not sure about Pacino as Sinatra, doesn’t really look the part but he could probably pull it off anyway, but I’d love to see De Niro as an older Dean Martin. DiCaprio would be an obvious (and excellent) choice as a younger Sinatra and Jamie Foxx would be a good choice to play Sammy Davis Jr. If any of this comes to fruition, we could be looking at one hell of a cast for an epic biopic.

  2. i kinda thought it would be the other way around with pacino playing martin

  3. This sounds like a big DUH to me. Of course you want these 2 iconic actors to portray those 2 iconic singers/actors. And yes, DiCaprio would be a great choice for the younger Sinatra and like Alex said, Foxx would be a great choice for Sammy.

  4. Sounds good as long as Pacino can reel in some of that signature overacting. I swear he’s become more and more a caricature of himself in every movie he’s been in since the 90s. I was watching the Jack Kevorkian (sp?) movie on HBO and I just felt that his portrayal was very distracting.

  5. It sounds like a potential winner to me.

  6. I think Reaper’s Ray Wise would make great Sinatra circa the 1960’s through the 1990’s.

  7. What can I say..I’d go see it. Anything with De Niro and Pacino in it,and I’m there. As far as the comments about Jaimie Foxx as Sammy Davis Jr.,…I gotta disagree there. Way to beefy, Sammy was never, to my knowledge, anything other than a very VERY thin man.

  8. Martin Scorsese is stereotyping his career with DiCaprio, De Niro, and Pacino…
    Wtf! Its a fricken orgy, of De Niro,Pacino and DiCaprio…!

  9. I like the whole idea of this bio-pic but although I think Pacino and De Niro are great actors neither of them would be my first choices to play Sinatra and Martin at any age, I just can’t see them as these two icons.

  10. ‘while Frank himself was arrested at an early age for sleeping with a married woman (a crime back then)’

    I didn’t know adultery was legal.

    • Why would it be illegal? Morally, yes, but you can’t legislate morality.

      • In some states its still illegal and can be punished with jail time. Jamie Fox is a big NO as Sammy. TIM MEADOWS by far is the most spot on as Sammy Davis Jr.

  11. Ray Wise would be absolutely PEFECT!!! He looks just like him and is an amazing actor. Ray Wise all the way. Amazing.

  12. I just want the woman who had sinatra arrested ( antoinette Dellapenta Francke) in 1938 to be depicted in a fair way and not as a one night stand. I know because I’m the grandchild of the woman. It was a long relationship between the two of them. My grandmother was involved with someone who told her a lot of things that all women like to hear, and she believed him only to find out that he was playing her with another woman (Nancy Barbato). Having long been seperated from her first husband and sure she would eventually get divorced, instead she was humiliated and ignored after her miscarriage. ther is so much more to this story. I hope Mr Scorsese will have one of his people contact me. I have so much more it’s unreal. P.S. My grandmother never had any hard feelings towards Frank as he became famous, she was happy for him and liked/loved him, It was just something that happened. I just want a little justice for my grandmother, a little truth thats all.

  13. pacino as an old sinatra is perfect as with de niro as dean martin. Leonardo di caprio as frank sinatra i think he could pull it off but di caprio is puny in size and has a light voice unlike sinatra.,and i dont want di caprio to potray sinatra in the way he did howard hughes as weak and fragile. If leonardo di caprio is to play frank sinatra it will have to be very different to anything hes done in the past.

  14. Ray Wise all the way. Incredible actor. Looks just like him. Definitely deserves this role!

  15. Ray wise for sure. Dead ringer in my opinion!

  16. I think Dicaprio is a big mistake for this obvious giant role, dont get me wrong hes a great actor but honestly guys look at the facts.. his voice is to high, hes actually taller than Frank, and frank had a narrow and scrawny face, dicaprio i might add is generally a cutie face, and sinatra looked like (no pun intended) a classy rat lol. I just couldnt watch one of my heros on screen being portrayed by a guy whos been in like a bunch of other biopics of people WHO WERE IN THE SAME time period as sinatra ya guys feel me?

  17. DEREK JETER AS FRANK. Use Frank’s voice, give DJ some hair & some acting lessons. Marty do your thing, Done & Done. From one king of new york to another. Make it happen!

  18. Dicaprio and Depp are not right to play Frank Sinatra.