Fred Astaire’s Will Allegedly Contains Clause That Will Prevent Tom Holland From Portraying Him In New Film

by : Hannah Smith on :
Fred Astaire's Will Allegedly Contains Clause That Will Prevent Tom Holland From Portraying Him In New FilmAlamy

It looked set to be the latest example of perfect real-life casting, but Tom Holland’s reported starring role in an upcoming Fred Astaire biopic has been met with a mixed response.

Following Holland’s confirmation that he’d agreed to take on the role, a long-standing Hollywood rumour has re-emerged casting doubt on whether the film would be able to receive Astaire’s family’s blessing.

Fred Astaire (Alamy)Alamy

On several occasions while he was alive, Astaire spoke out against the idea of himself being portrayed in a film by someone else, having told reporters, ‘However much they offer me – and offers come in all the time – I shall not sell.’

The legend of Hollywood’s golden age reportedly even claimed to have placed a clause in his will specifying his wish, saying, ‘It is there because I have no particular desire to have my life misinterpreted, which it would be.’

The rumour has never been confirmed, but has begun circulating once again in the wake of Holland revealing that the script for the film ‘came in weeks ago’, as people take to social media to question the plans for the biopic.

Tom Holland (Alamy)Alamy
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‘Fred Astaire literally put in his will that he didn’t want anyone to make a biopic of his life and Sony goes ahead and – ugh,’ one person tweeted, with another writing, ‘Normally I’d be lining up to see stuff like this opening night, I *grew up* on old tapes of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies, but man. It was literally in his will that he didn’t want a biopic made of him.’

It’s previously been pointed out that despite his iconic status, Astaire has never been portrayed by another actor, even since his death in 1987, with his frequent partner Ginger Rogers also never having had a film or a show made about her life.


A 1997 advert that used digital technology to portray Astaire was also heavily criticised by the actor’s daughter, who accused Astaire’s wife of having sold his career ‘to the devil’ by granting the rights to his likeness.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Film and TV, Biopic, Film, Tom Holland


The Independent
  1. The Independent

    Fred Astaire’s ‘request to never be portrayed on screen’ resurfaces amid Tom Holland biopic news