The last few years have been filled with motion pictures about the lives and times of wildly popular musical acts. Films like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman have received praise from both critics and fans alike. In response, major film studios have given the green light to new musical biopics about singers like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston. As first reported by Deadline, it appears one of the greatest entertainers Sammy Davis Jr. will be the next to have his life and career immortalized on the big screen.
The upcoming biopic will be based on the book Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father, published in 1996 and written by Davis’ daughter Tracey Davis and Dolores A. Barclay. Screenwriter David Matthews (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan) will pen the screenplay with MGM Studios handling finances and distribution.
Moreover, the film will tout an impressive list of producers coming on-board. Notably, Queen & Slim writer Lena Waithe will serve as the film’s executive producer and be actively involved with the project’s development. Additionally, the Onward star will join Rishi Rajani (The 40-Year-Old Version), Julia Lebedev (Dear White People), and Eddie Vaisman (Bad Education). The aforementioned Tracey Davis will serve as one of the film’s producers as well. At this time, the studio is still searching for the actor to portray the singer.
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In a statement accompanying the initial report, Waithe expresses her excitement to tell Mister Show Business’ story.
“Sammy Davis Jr. was one of the most impactful and influential figures in America. As Black culture continues to define popular culture, Sammy’s immense mark is undeniable. His story as a generational talent trying to make his way as a father, husband, and a Black man in America is one I have long wanted to help tell. I’m honored to be a part of this great team bringing such an important story to our community.”
Sammy Davis Jr. was an American singer, dancer, actor, vaudevillian, and comedian. The versatile and acclaimed performer has been called one of the greatest entertainers ever to grace a stage in the United States. Davis began his career in vaudeville with his father Sammy Davis Sr. and the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally. Following a stint in the American military, Davis became an overnight sensation. Appearing frequently as a member of The Rat Pack along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. In 1966, his TV variety show, titled The Sammy Davis Jr. Show, debuted, and his biggest hit, “The Candy Man”, reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1972.
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