Charles Murray to Write Sammy Davis Jr. Film for Paramount

According to Deadline, Paramount is moving ahead with its biopic on the life of Sammy Davis Jr., and has tapped Charles Murray to pen the script based on sources such as the singer’s 1965 memoir Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis Jr., which was written by the famous artist and Jane and Burt Boyar.

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Murray is known for his work on muscular dramas such as Sons of Anarchy and Luke Cage, but was tapped when Mike Menchel, one of the film’s producers, found out he had read practically everything ever written on the famed Rat Pack singer.

“If you saw me, I’m 6’4″ and 290 pounds, maybe 300 if I’m being really honest,” Murray told Deadline. “So it might surprise you that I grew up loving musicals, and gravitated to Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Elvis and James Cagney, and this little black dude I would see on TV, who held his own alongside Frank Sinatra.”

The article points out that Murray didn’t take the job to fawn over Davis Jr., whose life “was plenty provocative, a mix of out-sized talent and ambition, courage and defiance, with a need to constantly prove his worth at all time that led to a lot of loneliness.”

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The Sammy Davis, Jr. biopic will follow the artist and activist from Vaudeville with his dad and uncle in the Will Mastin Trio to the integrated infantry with Southern whites in WWII to his big break in the short film Sweet and Low in 1947 as well as his chance meeting with Frank Sinatra.

“He was constantly trying to impress people, and did not like being alone because that’s when the insecurities and terrible thoughts played in his head,” Murray said.

The project will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (American Assassin, Maze Runner: The Death Cure) with Davis’ heirs will joining him. Lionel Richie will also produce the project.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)


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