Jennifer Lawrence Looks Set to Play Ava Gardner Opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Frank Sinatra in Martin Scorsese’s Next Epic

While Jamie Bell and Margaret Qualley prepare to embody Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and Rooney Mara fights to keep her Audrey Hepburn-centric project alive, Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio look poised to play two other silver screen icons in their very own sweeping biopic: crooner Frank Sinatra and his second wife, Hollywood bombshell Ava Gardner, in a new drama from Martin Scorsese, no less.

Lawrence and DiCaprio—who previously co-starred in a very different awards contender, playing cranky astronomers in Adam McKay’s 2021 satire Don’t Look Up—are attached to the new film, per Variety, though its future is still uncertain. (Sinatra’s daughter, Tina, who controls her father’s estate, has reportedly yet to give her blessing to the forthcoming release.)

However, should it be greenlit, there’s no shortage of material that’s ripe for retelling: Gardner, known for being impossibly glamorous, free-spirited, brash, and outspoken, had previously been married to Mickey Rooney and then Artie Shaw before tying the knot with her third husband. She and Sinatra famously had a turbulent relationship, which began as dramatically as it ended: in the autumn of 1949, the musician, while still married to his first wife, Nancy Barbato, found himself very drunk and partying with Gardner in Palm Springs. At the end of the night, they left together and drove to the sleepy town of Indio, California, where, after kissing passionately, Sinatra apparently brought out two guns and began shooting out streetlights. Gardner joined in and shot out the window of a hardware store. They were eventually brought into a police station, but the officers were paid off by their movie studio.

It only got more unhinged from that point onwards: there was a public outcry when Sinatra left Barbato for Gardner, they married in 1951, and their frequent public fights were as legendary as their swooning reconciliations. They separated in 1953, and their divorce was finalized by 1957.

Image may contain Frank Alesia Ava Gardner Cream Dessert Food Icing Face Head Person Photography and Portrait

The couple at their 1951 wedding.

Photo: Getty Images

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