After years in development, Martin Scorsese's planned Frank Sinatra movie is coming closer to reality. According to Deadline.com, "Hunger Games" screenwriter Billy Ray has been hired to write the film, which was previously in the hands of writer Phil Alden Robinson. (Robinson was attached to the Sinatra biopic when it was first announced in May of 2009.)

Making a movie about Sinatra has long been on Scorsese's plate. Back in 2000, the director was involved in a Dean Martin biopic that would have starred Tom Hanks as Martin and John Travolta as Sinatra. When the Sinatra film was announced in 2009, it was thought that frequent Scorsese collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio would play the famed singer -- he was rumored to be attached -- but the pair instead reunited for "The Wolf of Wall Street," a star-studded adaptation of Jordan Belfort's memoir. Whether DiCaprio would still play the lead role is unclear, as is when the Sinatra film would even occur: Scorsese is still deciding between the equally long-gestating films "Silence" (which was once going to star Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro), "The Irishman," a mob movie based on the novel I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt (which would reunite the director with Robert De Niro), "The Snowman" (an adaptation of Jo Nesbo's pulp crime thriller) and "The Gambler" (a remake of the 1974 classic).

For more on the hiring of Ray, including why it's a coup that Universal Pictures was able to hire him for the job, head over to Deadline.com.

[via Deadline.com]

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