Like most famous, talented directors, Martin Scorsese always has a bevy of projects at his fingertips. Right now he’s shooting The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio but once he finishes that, who knows? Maybe it’ll be Silence, maybe it’ll be The Irishman, or maybe he’ll finally get around to directing the long rumored biopic of legendary singer and actor, Frank Sinatra. That scenario is looking more likely today as Universal has just hired Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, State of Play, Flightplan) to write a new screenplay for Sinatra. Read more after the jump.

Deadline first reported on Ray’s hiring. However, Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams) was originally hired to write the Sinatra screenplay and there’s no word if that’s been scrapped or Ray is working off that. Either way, Ray is now at the helm.

He himself is quite the busy man. Leading up to, and coming off, the success of The Hunger Games, Ray was hired to write a secret project with J.J. Abrams, The Thin Man, Pan, and even the 24 movie. Again, the Deadline story doesn’t prioritize Ray’s schedule but since Scorsese is working on Wall Street for at least a year or so, he has some time.

When the project might happen is, likely, based on Ray’s work. If Scorsese and the studio respond to the screenplay, odds are it could start filming at some point in 2013. If neither is particularaly passionate about it, it could be shelved to just lined up for rewrites. Either way, this is the first significant update on this highly anticipated hypothetical film in some time.

Another thing that would help the project come to fruition is a major actor hired to play as Ol’ Blue Eyes. Mr. DiCaprio perhaps? Johnny Depp? Channing Tatum? Who do you think?

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