Scott Rudin Picks Up Scorsese’s Sinatra Biopic, Plus Updates On The Director’s Next Projects

Martin Scorsese has just wrapped shooting on Hugo Cabret and will now be going through a hefty post-production period before its 3D release on Thanksgiving. However more interest now is focused on what the director will do next. And the answer is well: we don’t know.

For a long time it was considered to be The Irishman, a gangster picture that teams Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and possibly Harvey Keitel. Then the director’s pet project Silence cropped up, based on a novel about 17th Century Jesuit priests that had Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal attached in a previous incarnation.

Then there is The Wolf of Wall Street, which to me is perhaps the most fascinating. It would be another collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio and would see the director making a return to more indie-inflected works.

Now, uber-producer Scott Rudin, who has just come out of a fruitful if in the end disappointing awards season, has bought the rights to produce and release the Phil Alden Robinson-scripted and Scorsese directed biopic Sinatra, about the legendary entertainer of the 40’s and 50’s. The project was plunged into development hell when the Sinatra estate wasn’t comfortable with the rumours that too much would be focused on the much debated relationship Sinatra had with the mafia. Probably because Martin Scorsese is a director, not because they’d read the script.

Despite this, you would think that Sinatra was next. Quite the contrary in talking to MTV, Robert De Niro has cleared the air on what will happen in regards to Scorsese’s commitments:

I think there’s one other movie he’s going to do called Silence, it’s a movie he’s always been wanting to do, and he just finished Hugo Cabret, and then we’ll do our film [The Irishman].

So Silence is next (which we all knew anyway), then The Irishman. Presumably if those are huge Oscar hits, and its possible Hugo Cabret might be as well, I think the financial plan for The Wolf of Wall Street might push production back a little. So Sinatra will most likely come after The Irishman.

Rudin has plenty of time to wait with his current line up: a great franchise on his plate with a magnificent director in the form of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the Steven Zaillian/Aaron Sorkin scripted Moneyball, a Stephen Daldry adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s quirkily brilliant and fairly underrated novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Paul Greengrass’ Martin Luther King biopic Memphis, plus many more enticing projects, all of which could make up for the guy’s tragic Oscar loss. Sinatra could just be the crowning point of what looks to be a great period for both Scott Rudin and Martin Scorsese.