Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein Biopic, ‘Maestro,’ Adding to Cast

Emmy Award winner Jeremy Strong is in talks to play Bernstein biographer John Gruen.


Jeremy Strong is negotiating to co-star in Maestro, the Bradley Cooper-directed drama on composer Leonard Bernstein for Netflix. Strong just won the Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for the HBO series Succession, and he plays Jerry Rubin in the Aaron Sorkin-directed The Trial Of The Chicago 7 which just premiered on Netflix.

Gruen, a renaissance man and critic for The New York Herald Tribune and New York magazine, wrote the authorized biography The Private World of Leonard Bernstein.

Image via FilmMagic for HBO (Getty Images)

In his directorial followup to A Star Is Born, Cooper will star as Bernstein, and produce from the script he co-wrote with Oscar-winning Spotlight scribe Josh Singer. The drama spans over 30 years. Bernstein’s career is enough to fill a miniseries: his conducting debut at the New York Philharmonic at 25 when the conductor took ill; without even rehearsing, Bernstein did so well his star was launched the next day when his feat made the front page of the New York Times. He was blacklisted before being cleared of being a communist just before he composed the Oscar-nominated score for On the Waterfront; and he was an activist in the civil rights movement, and outspoken on issues including ending the Vietnam War. But the through line for the movie is the beautifully complex story of the marriage between Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre. Carey Mulligan is set to play Bernstein’s wife.

Pic is produced by Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Cooper and his Joint Effort producing partner Todd Phillips, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Fred Berner and Amy Durning.

WME and Mosaic rep Strong.

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