While “Silence” has been the project Martin Scorsese has carried around with him the longest, there are a small handful more that have also been percolating for years, and of those is a biopic on the legendary crooner, Frank Sinatra. A film about the iconic singer, who rubbed shoulders with politicians, gangsters and celebrities, saw the rise of Las Vegas, made music history, and left an impact on the big screen too, seems like a no brainer for Scorsese, but it has proven difficult to mount.

There have been a lot of grand ideas around the movie that at one point had mega-producer Scott Rudin attached, including shooting in 3D, and enlisting Al Pacino and Robert De Niro to play Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. But unfortunately, Scorsese has decided to walk from the movie because he can’t tell the story he way he wants to.

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“We can’t do it! … I think it is finally over. They [remaining members of the Sinatra clan] won’t agree to it. Open it up again and I’m there!” he told the Toronto Sun. “Certain things are very difficult for a family, and I totally understand. But, if they expect me to be doing it, they can’t hold back certain things. The problem is that the man was so complex. Everybody is so complex — but Sinatra in particular.”

Sounds like it’s the not unfamiliar struggle when it comes to biopics, where the balance of protecting a legacy and telling it like it is comes into conflict. It’s a shame because Sinatra’s story is a fascinating one, and crosses through so many key moments of American history. It’ll probably get to the big screen eventually, but it sounds like Scorsese won’t be at the helm. [via Pitchfork]