Netflix has acquired Bradley Cooper’s upcoming Leonard Bernstein biopic.
Last July, The Hangover star announced he was planning to follow up his Oscar-nominated directorial debut A Star Is Born with a film about the famed composer and conductor for studio executives at Paramount.
However, on Tuesday, bosses at streaming service Netflix announced that they had acquired all rights to the untitled project.
“Bradley’s directorial debut was nothing short of brilliant and he quickly cemented himself as a serious filmmaker,” Netflix’s Scott Stuber told Deadline. “His strong passion and clear vision for bringing to life the relationship between the iconic composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre promises to do their lives justice as only this renowned filmmaking team can. We are honoured to be working with the Bernsteins to share their family’s story with audiences everywhere.”
Cooper will direct and star in the project, which documents Bernstein’s complex marriage to his wife over the space of 30 years, from a script he co-wrote with Spotlight’s Josh Singer. He will also serve as a producer, along with his producing partner, Joker director Todd Phillips, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese, who was once set to direct his own Bernstein film, as well as Emma Tillinger Koskoff, who worked with Phillips on Joker and Scorsese on The Irishman.
The actor acquired the exclusive rights to the Bernstein estate, which put an end to a rival project which was set to star Jake Gyllenhaal, and has been working with the composer’s children Jamie, Alexander, and Nina, for the past two years. Production is expected to begin early next year.
Bernstein, who was the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, is best known for composing the music to stage musicals On the Town and West Side Story and the movie On the Waterfront. He died in 1990 at the age of 72.
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