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There’s a Fred Astaire biopic in the works, with Tom Holland cast in the lead role. But whether the film will ever see the light of day is a question that could take some time to answer. The main reason for that is Astaire’s Will, which allegedly has a clause that doesn’t allow anyone to portray him. This has been rumored to be the case for some time now, and it doesn’t seem like anyone has ever provided definitive proof one way or the other.
Rumors alluding to this have been around before, most specifically when Astaire’s digitized likeness appeared in a commercial in the 1990s. At the time, Astaire’s daughter criticized the commercial, and accused Astaire’s wife of selling out on his career and basically putting it in the hands of the devil. That may have been a bit harsh, but it apparently made an impression on Astaire’s wife and others. Since the commercial aired in 1997, there haven’t been any other uses of his likeness in commercials or movies at all.
There are plenty of people commenting online that Astaire had a clause in his Will about not having his life portrayed on screen, but as of the present day that hasn’t been something that’s been independently confirmed. The story is that Astaire didn’t want his life portrayed incorrectly, and was convinced that it would be handled wrong, so he didn’t allow anyone to use his likeness. Whether it’s actually in his Will isn’t known to the public, and whether that clause would be binding also isn’t clear.
According to sources, Sony Pictures seems to be going ahead with the film for the time being, and whether it actually ends up in front of moviegoers will be something that remains to be seen. It may become a matter for the courts to settle first.
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