According to Deadline, the project entitled Sammy will highlight the singer/actor’s rich life, including the racial barriers he faced during Hollywood’s most segregated times. The site reported Wednesday (June 5) that Daniels will team up with Playtone, a production company founded by Hanks and Gary Goetzman. Still in its early stages, the project will rely heavily on the 2003 book In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr. by Will Haygood.
Davis lived a full life as he performed during trying times like World War II for troops and later recording albums like Mr. Wonderful and Here’s Lookin At You. He was also a master of the theater as he took on roles like Golden Boy, where he earned a Tony nomination.
He gained elite celebrity status with his affiliation with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Lawford and Joey Bishop, known famously as The Rat Pack. By the 1960s, he was acting in Ocean’s 11, Sergeants 3 and Robin and the 7 Hoods.
Being in the spotlight soon brought public and private controversies, as his love affairs with white actresses received blacklash. Davis was faced with a death threat from Columbia Pictures’ Harry Cohan, who found out about his relationship with Hollywood sex symbol and actress, Kim Novak. It is reported that the entertainer was forced to marry Altovise Davis, a black woman, to tune out the negative press.
The performer was vocal during the Civil Rights movement as he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.
The official release date has not yet been announced. Ironically enough, May 16 would have been his 94th birthday.