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Paramount Pictures to get into the groove with Sammy Davis Jr. biopic

We've got great news for all of you hep cats out there who love having a little soft-shoe in your soul. According to Deadline, Paramount Pictures has courted the biopic about Sammy Davis Jr., which is now poised to swagger its way into a fast-paced production. For the moment, a writer and director still need to be assigned to the project. Once they're found, a cinematic celebration centered around the legendary dancer-singer-actor-musician will groove its way into the history books.

Deadline reports that the film will be largely based on the 1965 memoir Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr. that the multi-talented music man penned with Jane and Burt Boyar. Playing a major role will be pop legend Lionel Richie, who will refrain from dancing on the ceiling long enough to lead the film's production alongside Davis' heirs. As reported, Richie was the driving force in obtaining the rights to bring Davis' story to the big screen. “I cannot tell you how excited I am about the signing of the Sammy Davis Jr. project with Paramount,” said Richie. “I knew and loved Sammy dearly.”

During his time as an entertainer, Davis was hailed as a destroyer of race barriers in the entertainment industry. So talented was Davis that Frank Sinatra insisted the African American showman join The Rat Pack, a trend-setting singing group comprised of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, and of course, Davis. As a group, The Rat Pack made music enthusiasts swoon, as they swayed to the sweet sounds of their combined talents.

Throughout his life, Davis became a champion of music, dance, and stage. However, his personal life became something of a mess when Columbia Pictures’ Harry Cohn discovered that he was romantically involved with a white actress named Kim Novak. In time, Davis was forced out of the relationship and made to marry a black woman as a beard. Davis' love life continued to shine a dim light as the entertainer struggled to find happiness both on and off the public stage.

Those who are aware of Davis' talents will likely know him as the sweet voice behind the 1971 smash hit "The Candy Man," which was written by others specifically for the film WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. It's my hope (and Paramount's as well) that the new Sammy Davis Jr. project will showcase the man's wide array of talents while not shying aware from the many hurdles he cleared while securing his place among the stars.

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