Scandalous! will tell the story of Davis' love affair with Vertigo actress Kim Novak.

By Nick Romano
July 30, 2020 at 02:25 PM EDT
Advertisement

Fresh off Jeremy Pope's Emmy nomination for his performance in Ryan Murphy's Hollywood, the actor is teaming up with the show's writer/director/executive producer Janet Mock to tell the story of Sammy Davis Jr.'s love affair with actress Kim Novak, EW has learned.

Mock — who also writes, directs, and EPs FX's Pose — will serve as director on the drama, called Scandalous!, and will polish up the script by Matthew Fantaci. The film, described as a Romeo & Juliet-esque story of old Hollywood, is currently being shopped around while the team looks for an actress to play Novak.

The starlets fell in love in 1957, at a time when Davis was breaking color barriers with his growing popularity and Novak was starring in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Both faced an intense racist backlash for their interracial relationship, and there are many rumors and urban legends that surround this story, including an alleged mob hit against Davis from Harry Cohn, the notorious head of Columbia Pictures who discovered and exploited Novak.

Leon Bennett/WireImage; Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Jonathan Glickman and Jon Levin will produce Scandalous!

Pope is a rapidly rising talent after starring in Broadway's critically lauded Choir Boy, penned by Moonlight scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney. The lead received two Tony Award nominations and he then went on to feature in Murphy's ensemble cast for the Netflix series Hollywood, which took inspiration from the old days of Tinseltown. For that, Pope earned an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Mock, a trans activist, is also quickly accumulating writing and directing credits with her work on Pose and Hollywood. She made history last year as the first trans woman to secure an overall studio deal, which is set up at Netflix.

Deadline was the first to report the news.

Listen to EW’s The Awardist podcast for all the latest Emmys scoop, featuring Cate Blanchett, Ted Danson, Regina King, and more!

Related content:

Comments