lionel richie (today show)

*The estate of Sammy Davis Jr. has announced a biopic in the works that will be based on Davis’ 1965 memoir “Yes I Can: The Story Of Sammy Davis, Jr.,” Shadow and Act reports. The project is being led by Lionel Richie, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mike Menchel.

Richie has this to say about the project: “It’s an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friends to the screen. 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.”

“Sammy’s life story is an unparalleled tale of what can be achieved with unbridled perseverance and talent,” adds di Bonaventura. “It is at its essence a uniquely American story of one man’s ability to use his talents to reach the pinnacle of his profession.”

Davis’ children – 4 sons and a daughter — are all involved in the making of the film, which has no release date and no cast attached yet.

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biopic

Estate administrator (and Davis’ son Manny) said this of the project: “I am happy to tell the whole entire world that my family and I look forward to working with everyone to educate audiences of all ages about our father’s incredible American adventure.”

This project is separate from Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios 2015 acquisition of “Deconstructing Sammy,” Matt Birkbeck’s critically-acclaimed biography of the legendary entertainer. The studio said it would produce the Sammy Davis story as a motion picture, a scripted television series, and a documentary.

“I personally knew and worked with Sammy Davis, Jr.,” said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “Sammy hired me to open for him at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas when I was a 19-year-old standup comedian, and that’s where my fascination with his incredible story began. ‘Deconstructing Sammy’ is an amazing work of literature. It is the perfect foundation for a movie, a scripted television series, and a documentary about this legendary global icon.”

Production was set to begin last year, but there haven’t been any updates since the initial announcement.