Martin Scorsese is dead serious about wanting Leonardo DiCaprio to play Frank Sinatra in a forthcoming biopic. This has always struck me as a ridiculous idea. The physical shorthand for Sinatra before he hit 50 and starting putting on weight was always “short and skinny” (he was about 5’7″), and Leo is about six feet tall with moderately broad shoulders. There’s not even a vague resemblance between them. Sinatra had a narrowish face with a longish nose, and DiCaprio has a wide Germanic face with a smallish nose.

DiCaprio as Sinatra is like casting Joseph Gordon Levitt to play Cary Grant or Jason Segel as Spencer Tracy or Seth Rogen as Henry Fonda. It’s one of those “what?” calls. Ludicrous.

Scorsese should be talking to Johnny Depp about this film. Depp isn’t perfect but he could be made to half-resemble Sinatra with blue contact lenses and nose putty, etc. I could buy him in the role, but DiCaprio is an even worse fit for Sinatra than he was for J. Edgar Hoover and Howard Hughes.

Doesn’t DiCaprio need to give his biopic thing a break? Doesn’t he need to give the Scorsese partnership a break also (and vice versa)? Doesn’t he need to play the lead in a shallow but charming romantic comedy like Working Girl or Legal Eagles…something like that?

If you were Fred Zinneman, director of From Here to Etermity, what would you say if someone pulled you aside as you were shooting the barroom knife-fight scene between Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine and Burt Lancaster (who was about 6’1″, or no more than an inch taller than DiCaprio) and said, “Sixty years from now a major director is going to shoot a Sinatra biopic with a guy who’s almost exactly Lancaster’s build and height to play Sinatra…whaddaya think about that?” Zinneman would probably laugh.

Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra in From Here to Eternity — their height difference would be approximately reflected in the size disparity between DiCaprio and Sinatra.

Note: I wrote not one but two longer versions of this story earlier, and both were lost because Safari froze twice due to a photo-saving attempt with Picnik. I should have made sure Picnik was on a different browser than Movable Type 4.0 (which I hate and want to get rid of). It was my stupid fault entirely. At least three hours worth of work was lost altogether, which required 10 or 15 minutes of of emotional recovery (i.e., loud swearing, punching the rerigerator door) both times or a total of 30 minutes.