Sammy Davis Jr., the legendary musician and comedian who worked alongside Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in the ‘Rat Pack,’ is getting a biopic. Paramount Pictures has currently set a deal with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura to make a movie based on Davis’ life, mostly inspired by his 1965 memoir Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr. The project has been pushed into development rather quickly, so the search for a screenwriter and director will be top priority.
Alongside Davis’ children, di Bonaventura will be producing the film with the input of partner Mike Menchel and singer Lionel Richie. Menchel previously worked with di Bonaventura in the production of 2017’s Only the Brave starring Miles Teller and Josh Brolin, which told the story of nineteen firefighters that gave their lives trying to extinguish the 2013 Yarnell Hill fire. Richie, whose legendary music career spans back to the 1980’s, was essential in making the legal deals necessary to greenlight Davis’ story.
According to Deadline, Richie had this to say about the film’s production: “I cannot tell you how excited I am about the signing of the Sammy Davis Jr. project with Paramount. I knew and loved Sammy dearly. He was so kind to me at the beginning of my career and gave me advice that helped me become the artist that I am today. I am so happy for his kids that we can bring his story to the screen.”