Kevin Spacey’s hopes for lead in Frank Sinatra biopic dashed after ‘singer’s daughter shuts down project’

Kevin Spacey’s hopes for lead in Frank Sinatra biopic dashed after ‘singer’s daughter shuts down project’

The daughter of Frank Sinatra has reportedly shut down a planned biopic about the legendary crooner that had Kevin Spacey in mind for the lead role.

However, The Independent has learnt that the actor was never officially attached to the project, despite his noted love of the late singer.

The Sinatra film was the project of screenwriter and director Paul Schrader, whose previous credits include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and American Gigolo.

He told Variety earlier this month that he had been in contact with Spacey about the role, remarking on his attempts at a comeback: “Cancel culture won’t let him go.”

Spacey is a longtime fan of Sinatra, and has been spotted singing hits such as “Come Fly With Me” in jazz bars.

In an interview with the Daily Mail while he was attending Cannes Film Festival, Schrader, 77, said the project had been nixed by Sinatra’s daughter Tina, whose permission would be required to secure the music rights.

Paul Schrader at Cannes 2024 (2024 Invision)
Paul Schrader at Cannes 2024 (2024 Invision)

Tina, who is a producer and actor herself, apparently was not taken with Scharder’s vision for the film, which would have focused on Sinatra at the end of his career, while he was struggling with various controversies and poor health.

“We had a script which was great and we were ready to go, but Tina was not keen,” Schrader, who is promoting his latest film Oh, Canada,said. ‘We could not get her permission for the music and you can’t do it without that.

“Tina is protective – very protective – of her father’s image and this was not an altogether flattering portrait of him.”

He added: “I think Kevin would have been good. He was a great Bobby Darin (in Beyond The Sea).”

Questioned about the allegations against Spacey, he said: “I would not use Kevin if he had been convicted. But he was not convicted.”

Spacey’s manager Evan Lowenstein told The Independent that the actor had been in contact with Schrader regarding future projects and would “love” to work with him, but he was never attached to the Sinatra film.

“But should Kevin get the chance to portray the great crooner, he would love it,” he added.

Spacey has not starred in a major Hollywood production since 2017, when he was accused of sexual misconduct by several men, which he vehemently denied.

He was found not guilty of nine sexual offences against four men in their twenties and thirties, between 2004 and 2013, following a trial in London last year.

Earlier this month, a new documentary aired on Channel 4 that featured previously unheard testimonies about Spacey’s alleged inappropriate behaviour. The actor slammed the programme as “one-sided” and “inaccurate”.

Addressing the documentary on Thursday 2 May, he wrote on X/Twitter: “Over the last week, I have repeatedly requested that Channel 4 afford me more than seven days to respond to allegations made against me dating back 48 years and provide me with sufficient details to investigate these matters.

“Channel 4 has refused on the basis that they feel that asking for a response in seven days to new, anonymised and non-specific allegations is a ‘fair opportunity’ for me to refute any allegations made against me. I will not sit back and be attacked by a dying network’s one-sided ‘documentary’ about me in their desperate attempt for ratings.”