There's only one Frank Sinatra.
We doubt there is anyone – old, young or somewhere in the middle – that doesn't immediately recognize that smooth voice, and feel a little cooler and sexier. He was a cultural icon with the kind of life (USO tours, Oscars, Las Vegas, the Rat Pack, supposed Mob ties, Ava Gardner…) just begging for a big-budget biopic.
Martin Scorsese (everyone's dream director for a Sinatra movie) is currently in pre-production on "Sinatra," and has given "The Hunger Games" screenwriter Billy Ray the heavy task of trying to compress the man into a manageable run time. Things are getting serious! All that's missing now is Sinatra himself – or, rather, the man brave enough to step into those impeccably polished wingtips.
We've put together a list of guys we think might be up to the task, and included a poll so you can vote for the one you think could capture Old Blue Eyes best. Don't agree with any of our six? Then make your case in the comments below.
DiCaprio is almost certainly in the running due to his close friendship with Scorsese, his taste for big biopics and his uncanny ability to wear retro suits and hats. He's also a pretty close physical match to Sinatra – they're both blue-eyed, sharp-jawed and share the same heart-melting grin. (DiCaprio will have to dye his hair, of course, but that will only make the blue eyes pop better.) We know DiCaprio can act the heck out of the part… but can he sing it? And can he loosen up to capture Sinatra's effortless, swinging sultriness?
Crudup is another good physical match for Sinatra, sharing the same chiseled hunkiness – he lacks the blue eyes, but that's what contacts are for, anyway. Though he doesn't get the press of Daniel Day-Lewis, he's just as obsessive and devoted to a part, taking on the voice, mannerisms and physicality of anyone he plays. (Watch his J. Edgar Hoover in "Public Enemies" for a small example – and then compare it to the sloppy mess he is in "Eat, Pray, Love.") Oh, and he can sing.
Harry Connick Jr.
Connick has often been hailed as the second coming of Frank Sinatra – he has the looks (the similarity is uncanny and creepy), the voice and the acting talent. However, he may be too old for the part – he's only a year older than Crudup, but lacks the boyishness – and while he's been solid in most of his movie roles, he's never carried a part as large as Sinatra. Does he have the range to get at the inner Frank, or would it end up being an extended impersonation of his stage persona?
The new kid on the block, Gordon-Levitt has already impressed critics and audiences with his acting range. A role like Sinatra could launch him into DiCaprio up-for-every-big-part territory. He has a big advantage over the other candidates because of his youth, which would allow him to play boyish "On the Town" Sinatra with ease. (On the other hand, we shudder to think what might happen if he has to age into heavier, older Sinatra. Think "J.Edgar" make-up.) But he has the right look, grace, and style… and he can sing. Really, really well.
He's got the bright eyes, the smile and the vocal chords of Sinatra (Marsden regularly belts it out on Broadway), but does he have the scars and grit? Marsden has made a name for himself playing affable, adorable husbands and boyfriends – you know, the kinds of guys a movie heroine leaves for a Frank Sinatra type. But perhaps the big, bad seducer is lurking under Marsden’s skin, just waiting to appear when he gets the suit and fedora. A man can only lose to Wolverine and Superman for so long before letting it all come out…
Bublé's buttery vocal tones, retro style, and charm certainly suggests he was cooked up out of Sinatra’s DNA. (He's even part Italian!) He could definitely bring the musical heat to a Sinatra biopic. He lacks the right looks, though, and his acting resume is slim, mainly comprised of secondary roles in little seen films. We know he could pull off Sinatra on stage, but what about any scene he has to emote in? This could be the moment Buble reveals he has Sinatra’s acting chops… or it could be two hours of awkwardness where we discover he needs to stay behind a microphone.