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Bradley Cooper Adds Another Leonard Bernstein Biopic to the Mix

The new film Bernstein will go head-to-head with Jake Gyllenhaal's The American.

Bradley Cooper will direct and star in the Leonard Bernstein biopic Bernstein.
(© David Gordon)

We've got dueling Bernsteins on our hands. According to Deadline, Paramount Pictures and Amblin are prepared to cofinance Bernstein, a new biopic about the life of famed composer Leonard Bernstein, starring and directed by Bradley Cooper. The news comes on the heels of reports about another Bernstein biopic, The American, starring and produced by Jake Gyllenhaal with direction by Cary Joji Fukunaga.

A remake of West Side Story (featuring one of Bernstein's most famous scores) is also in the works, to be directed by Steven Spielberg and to feature a screenplay by Tony Kushner. The flurry of Bernstein-related projects coincides with Bernstein at 100, a two-year global centennial celebration of the composer's life and career.

Bernstein will be cowritten by Cooper and Josh Singer, who earned an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay alongside Tom McCarthy for the 2015 film Spotlight. Through his Joint Effort Production Company, Cooper will produce with Fred Berner, Amy Durning, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese.

Cooper is currently in the process of making his directorial debut on the latest remake of A Star Is Born, in which he costars with Lady Gaga.