Lena Waithe to produce Sammy Davis Jr. biopic based on book by his daughter

MGM will develop the film about the iconic entertainer based on the 1996 book 'Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father,' written by his daughter

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Lena Waithe has signed on to produce a biopic on Sammy Davis Jr. and we are here for it. 

According to Deadline, MGM will develop the film about the iconic entertainer based on the 1996 book Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father written by his daughter, Tracey Davis, and Dolores A. Barclay.

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Hillman Grad’s Rishi Rajani will produce along with Julia Lebdev and Eddie Vaisman of Sight Unseen. David Matthews will write the script.

Sammy Davis Jr. has been called the “greatest entertainer to ever grace a stage in the United States” and this film will reportedly focus on the later years of Davis’ life and his attempt to reconcile his relationship with his daughter through the use of “impressionistic flashbacks.”

Sammy Davis Jnr
Sammy Davis Jnr (1925 – 1990), American actor and popular singer. (Photo by Michael Fresco/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

“He and my mother, May Britt, took on the world, choosing love and compassion over hatred and bigotry, and I am a product of that decision,” Tracey Davis said in a statement. “My father was an extraordinary man, who experienced tremendous joys and fought tough battles throughout his years coming up in the industry. His was not an easy road, but, like he did in all aspects of his life, he gave it everything he had. We plan to do the same with this film.”

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Waithe seems excited to tackle a project that highlights someone who was such a hero in the fight for civil rights. 

“His story as a generational talent trying to make his way as a father, husband, and a Black man in America is one I have long wanted to help tell,” she added in the statement. “I’m honored to be a part of this great team bringing such an important story to our community.”

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