Netflix has reportedly acquired all rights to the untitled Leonard Bernstein film which has Bradley Cooper slated to direct, star in and produce from the script he co-wrote with Josh Singer (“Spotlight”).
The film spans three decades and tells the beautifully complex story of the colorful life and marriage between musical genius Bernstein and his wife, Chilean-born actress Felicia Montealegre. The project was previously setup at Paramount Pictures and Amblin Entertainment but Paramount has now exited.
Amblin is still backing the project which boasts an impressive line-up of producers – Cooper, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Todd Phillips, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Fred Berner and Amy Durning.
Scorsese several years ago intended to direct the film but has since stepped aside. Spielberg just shot a remake of “West Side Story” which uses Bernstein’s music. Filming is expected to begin early next year and Netflix will give it a significant theatrical release before the film premieres on its site.
A rival project, which had Jake Gyllenhaal playing Bernstein for director Cary Fukunaga, fell by the wayside after the Cooper project scored the exclusive rights from the Leonard Bernstein estate. Cooper has been working closely with Bernstein’s children for the past two years on the film.