×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Jake Gyllenhaal to Play Leonard Bernstein in ‘The American’

Jake Gyllenhaal is set to produce and star as Leonard Bernstein in “The American,” with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing and producing.

Bron Studios will produce and back the film, which begins principal photography in the fall. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales of the project during the Cannes Film Market.
.
The screenplay, from Michael Mitnick, is based on the biography “Leonard Bernstein” by Humphrey Burton. In five movements, like a symphony, “The American” follows Leonard Bernstein from conducting the New York Philharmonic at the impressive age of 25 through the meteoric rise to fame, all while struggling both personally and publicly to be everything that everyone expected him to be, most of all himself.

The project is an original idea, developed by Nine Stories, Gyllenhaal’s and Riva Marker’s New York-based production company. Gyllenhaal and Marker will produce alongside Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Fukunaga’s Parliament of Owls and Martha Parker. Jason Cloth of Creative Wealth Media, Michael Mitnick and Adam Gopnik are executive producers.

“Like many people, Leonard Bernstein found his way into my life and heart through ‘West Side Story’ when I was a kid,” said Gyllenhaal. “But as I got older and started to learn about the scope of his work, I began to understand the extent of his unparalleled contribution and the debt of gratitude modern American culture owes him. As a man, Bernstein was a fascinating figure—full of genius and contradiction—and it will be an incredible honor to tell his story with a talent and friend like Cary.”

“Bernstein’s artistic passions changed the way generations understood and appreciated music. It’s been wonderful collaborating with Michael and Jake on Bernstein’s story as we endeavor to capture both the iconic person and artist. Jake is the perfect partner to help bring this story to life and to play this legend,” said Fukunaga.

The role would mark another strong dramatic turn for Gyllenhaal who recently received rave reviews for another biopic, “Stronger,” in which he played a survivor from the Boston Marathon bombings.

Nine Stories’ most recently produced Paul Dano’s directorial debut “Wildlife.” The film, starring Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan, premiered to critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and is the opening night film for the Cannes Critics’ Week.

Bron Studios’ “Leave No Trace” directed by Oscar nominee Debra Granik, premiered at Sundance and will be featured in this year’s Cannes Director’s Fortnight. “Tully,” directed by Jason Reitman and starring Charlize Theron, will be released by Focus on May 4.

Gyllenhaal and Nine Stories are represented by WME and Bloom Hergott. Cary Joji Fukunaga is represented by WME, Anonymous Content, and Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler & Feldman.

More Film

  • Atmosphere91st Annual Academy Awards, Governors Ball

    Inside the 2019 Oscar Parties

    Stars party all around Hollywood before, during, and after the Oscars. Here, Variety hits the town to give you the inside scoop on all the star-studded soirées. Keep checking back throughout the weekend for the latest updates… Variety x Armani Beauty Makeup Artistry Dinner Sunset Tower, Los Angeles, Feb. 20Variety and Giorgio Armani Beauty honored makeup artists Molly [...]

  • 'Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ Heads

    'Monty Python's Life of Brian' Gets 40th Anniversary Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” is heading back into movie theaters to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the classic comedy film. Trafalgar Releasing took the rights to the film last year. The event cinema specialist is planning a 400-screen release on April 18 that will span the U.K. and U.S. as well as territories [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • Woody Allen Developing Next Film With

    Woody Allen Teams With Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

    MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]

  • 'Stitches' Review: Berlin Film Festival

    Berlin Film Review: 'Stitches'

    An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content