Sammy Davis Jr. will be the subject of yet another film project that is in development.
According to Deadline, Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani of Hillman Grad is producing a biopic of the actor, dancer and singer for MGM based on the 1996 book written by Davis’ daughter Tracey Davis and Dolores A. Barclay. Julia Lebdev and Eddie Vaisman of Sight Unseen will also produce, with the script written by David Matthews.
The film will focus on Davis later in life as he tries to fix his relationship with his daughter. “In his ’60s, he tried to pull off the biggest showbiz reunion in history–but first, he had to mend all the relationships he’d broken along the way to stardom, including the one with his daughter,” according to the article. The film will use “impressionistic flashbacks” to tell the story of Davis’ rise from child star to household name, which includes his fights against racism and prejudice.
Davis said in a statement how “thrilled” she is to have her father’s story told on the big screen.
“He and my mother May Britt took on the world, choosing love and compassion over hatred and bigotry, and I am a product of that decision,” she wrote. “My father was an extraordinary man, who experienced tremendous joys and fought tough battles throughout his years coming up in the industry. His was not an easy road, but, like he did in all aspects of his life, he gave it everything he had. We plan to do the same with this film.”
Waithe also wrote in a statement that Davis “was one of the most impactful and influential figures in America,” with his “immense mark” still being felt today.
“His story as a generational talent trying to make his way as a father, husband, and a Black man in America is one I have long wanted to help tell,” she wrote. “I’m honored to be a part of this great team bringing such an important story to our community.”
There are two other film projects and a miniseries lined up to tell the story of Davis’ life. Apart from the film project by Waithe, Janet Mock announced in July her intent to direct a film about Davis and Kim Novak’s then-controversial relationship at the height of their careers. Mock’s film will star Hollywood‘s Jeremy Pope as Davis. Prior to this, a biopic was announced as in development in 2018 from Paramount Pictures. In 2019, Lee Daniels announced Sammy, a miniseries about Davis in conjunction with Tom Hanks.
‘Scandalous!’: Janet Mock To Direct Jeremy Pope As Sammy Davis Jr. In Film On His Romance With Kim Novak
A Biopic About Sammy Davis Jr. Is In The Works At Paramount Pictures
Sammy Davis Jr. Miniseries In the Works From Lee Daniels And Tom Hanks