Netflix is partnering with Bradley Cooper for an untitled movie about the iconic American composer Leonard Bernstein. As he did for A Star is Born, Cooper will direct, star, and produce the new film, and he’ll be working from a script he co-wrote with Josh Singer (Spotlight).
As Deadline reports, Cooper will tell Bernstein’s story through his complicated relationship with his wife, the Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre. Today, Bernstein is best remembered for his lively, sweeping orchestral pieces, especially the musical West Side Story, the opera Candide, and the Oscar-nominated film score for On the Waterfront. Cooper has obviously demonstrated a knack for filming the rock and pop genres, but the music of Bernstein may provide a different challenge.
Production on the film won’t begin until early next year, and until then Cooper will be assisted with a murderers’ row of co-producers, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Todd Phillips. Those are some expensive names, but as Deadline suggests, Netflix is hoping Bernstein’s name can deepen their relationship with Scorsese and mark the start of long partnerships with Phillips and Spielberg.
For Netflix, this is part of a broader prestige push that entered a new phase last year with The Irishman and Marriage Story, which together earned 16 Oscar nominations. As it did with those films, Netflix will secure the Bernstein project a limited theatrical run to ensure award season eligibility.
Up next for Bradley Cooper is Nightmare Alley from Guillermo del Toro, one of our 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020.