Bradley Cooper‘s follow-up to A Star is Born is heading to Netflix. The streaming giant has acquired the rights to the an untitled Leonard Bernstein film, which Cooper is set to direct, star in, and produce from a script he co-wrote with Oscar-winning Spotlight writer Josh Singer.
After a superb showing with this year’s Oscar nominations for The Irishman and Marriage Story, Netflix is already looking to next year’s award’s season with a prestige-packed project led by Bradley Cooper. Deadline reports that Cooper is set to direct, star in, and produce a film about Leonard Bernstein, the world-renowned composer behind scores for West Side Story, On the Waterfront, and more, who has been dubbed “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.” The film would span the course of 30 years and tell the “beautifully complex story of the marriage between Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre,” per Deadline.
In addition to Cooper and his co-writer Josh Singer, who won an Oscar for his script for 2015’s Spotlight, the yet-untitled Leonard Bernstein film features quite a roster of producers, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Cooper’s Joint Effort producing partner and Joker director Todd Phillips, Kristie Macosko Krieger, The Irishman and Joker Oscar-nominated producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Fred Berner, and Amy Durning.
Netflix picks up the project after it had languished under Paramount for the past two years, even though the studio set the film as “priority project” in 2018. But a heated competition with a rival project, which had Jake Gyllenhaal playing Bernstein in a Cary Fukanaga-directed film, put a halt to the project, even when Fukanaga went on to helm the upcoming Bond movie No Time to Die. But Cooper has been eager to make the film since he and the filmmakers got the exclusive rights from the Leonard Bernstein estate. Cooper was drawn to the project because of the “charged and complex relationship between Bernstein and his wife,” according to Deadline, which is why he chose the film as his follow-up to his debut feature and the awards darling A Star is Born.
Amblin also remains attached to the film, which is expected to begin production early next year. Netflix again plans to give it a significant theatrical release before the film premieres on its streaming site, as it has done for other awards season contenders like The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Roma. That strategy is probably how Netflix got Spielberg on board after the filmmaker had publicly denounced the streamer as a bane on awards season.
“Bradley’s directorial debut was nothing short of brilliant and he quickly cemented himself as a serious filmmaker,” Netflix Head of Film Scott Stuber said to 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 honored to be working with the Bernsteins to share their family’s story with audiences everywhere.”
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