After nearly three decades of disputes regarding Sammy Davis Jr.’s estate and intellectual property, including a hefty $35 million lawsuit, the entertainment legend’s heirs have finally agreed to move forward with a biopic.
The film will be produced by Lionel Richie, Grammy-winning singer and one of Davis’ mentees, alongside Lorenzo di Bonaventura (The Matrix, Deepwater Horizon) and Mike Menchel. It’s said to be based on Yes I Can, a memoir penned by the late Rat Pack member, his wife, and author Burt Boyar released back in 2012.
“It’s an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friend to the screen,” Richie noted in a press statement. “I’m so grateful to be working closely with the Davis family on this and couldn’t be happier to be moving forward on this passion project.”
A number of Davis-focused projects have been rumored to be in the works over the years, including an HBO biopic eyed by The Butler director Lee Daniels, only to be stalled because of estate issues.
Below, revisit footage of Davis showcasing his tap dancing skills circa 1969.