On June 22, 1987, Fred Astaire, the greatest American dancer, one of Hollywood legends, died of pneumonia at the age of 88, after seven-decade career in film and stage.
During his life time, Astaire's life has never been portrayed on film as he always refused permission for such portrayals, saying, "However much they offer me—and offers come in all the time—I shall not sell."
At the time of his death, it is reported that his will included a clause requesting that no such portrayal of him ever take place; he commented, "It is there because I have no particular desire to have my life misinterpreted, which it would be."
On December 5, 2021, British actor Tom Holland announced that he would be portraying Fred Astaire in an upcoming biopic.
Born in England in 1996, Tom Holland joined the London production of Billy Elliot the Musical in 2008. He soon found success in film, drawing strong reviews for his performance in The Impossible (2012). He achieved global stardom when it was announced that he would take over the iconic role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man for the big screen. In 2016, Holland made his debut as the superhero in Captain America: Civil War (2016), before earning the chance to carry his own feature with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
Holland then reprised his superhero role in the ensemble blockbusters Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), before adding the next chapter to his character's story with Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).
Robyn Smith, Fred Astaire's widow, granted permission for the rights.