Bradley Cooper to direct and star in new biopic of composer Leonard Bernstein
As the man responsible for iconic musicals such as West Side Story and scoring films including On the Waterfront, Leonard Bernstein is perhaps one of the most well-known American composers of the 20th century, but his extraordinary body of work extends far beyond musical theatre and now his story is being brought to the big screen by none other than Bradley Cooper.
Cooper is set to direct and star in a new biopic about Bernstein's life and work, which included compositions for opera, theatre, choirs and orchestras, as well as a long tenure as the musical director and conductor for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cooper's new film, Bernstein, will see the American Sniper star tackle the role of the Massachusetts-born composer and will be based on a script co-written by Cooper himself and The Post screenwriter Josh Singer. Cooper has lined up some heavyweight producers fro his film too, with Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese both attaching their names to the project.
However, the film will have some competition from The American, another film based on Bernstein's life currently in development, set to be directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Cooper's film will be his second in the director's chair having recently completed his directorial debut with A Star is Born, an upcoming film starring Lady Gaga as a struggling artist aiming for a successful career as a singer.
There's no firm release date for either film as yet, but given Fukunaga's film was announced just one week ago, the release dates could end up quite close to each other, meaning the two Bernstein films could be duelling it out on the big screen in the near future.