Malcolm McDowell Stars with Gael Garcia Bernal in Amazon Studios ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Pilot

Comedy set in world of NYC classical music is among 11 pilots set for Internet retailer's early 2014 bake-off

Gael Garcia Bernal Desierto
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Malcolm McDowell will co-star with Gael Garcia Bernal in the pilot of Amazon Studios comedy “Mozart in the Jungle,” one of 11 pilots the e-tailer has slated to debut in early 2014, the company announced.

“Mozart in the Jungle,” directed and executive produced by Paul Weitz, is based on the memoir by professional oboist Blair Tindall about sex and drugs in New York’s classical music scene. Pilot was scribed by Roman Coppola (“The Darjeeling Limited”), Jason Schwartzman (“Moonrise Kingdom,” “Rushmore”) and Alex Timbers (who co-directed Broadway’s “Peter and the Starcatcher”).

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As with its initial series development slate, Amazon will solicit viewer feedback on the “Mozart in the Jungle” pilot and others in early 2014 to help determine which should be produced as series for Prime Instant Video and Amazon’s LoveFilm in the U.K. The company debuted its first two originals, comedies “Alpha House” and “Betas,” last month.

Amazon Studios’ early 2014 pilots include two dramas — “The After” from Chris Carter (“The X-Files”) and cop procedural “Bosch” — and two other comedies, “The Rebels” from Matt Alvarez and former New York Giants player Michael Strahan, and “Transparent” from Jill Soloway (“Six Feet Under”). Also on deck are six kids’ pilots.

In “Mozart in the Jungle,” Garcia Bernal (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) stars as Rodrigo, the hotshot new conductor of the New York Symphony. McDowell (“Franklin & Bash”) plays Thomas, a more seasoned conductor being forced into retirement by Rodrigo.

Other “Mozart in the Jungle” cast include Lola Kirke (“Reaching for the Moon”) as impressionable oboist Hailey and Bernadette Peters (“Smash”), who plays Gloria, chair the symphony’s board, with Saffron Burrows (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent”), Peter Vack (“CBGB”) and Hannah Dunne (“This is It”).

“It’s an excellent and fun cast,” Weitz said in a statement. “They all enjoyed stepping through the looking glass into characters who are obsessed with a very different discipline.”