×
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

  • 'Pacific Rim Uprising' film premiere

    John Boyega in Talks to Star in Legal Drama 'A Naked Singularity'

    “Star Wars” actor John Boyega is in talks to star in the legal drama “A Naked Singularity” with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions on board to produce. The movie is based on Sergio De La Pava’s debut novel, which centers on a successful New York public defender whose life begins to unravel after he loses [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Outpacing 'Wonder Woman' in Fandango Pre-Sales

    Pre-sales of “Aquaman,” which opens on Thursday night, are outpacing “Wonder Woman” at the same point in the advance ticket sales cycle on online ticketer Fandango. “Wonder Woman” opened with $103 million domestically during the June 2 to June 4, 2017, weekend on its way to a $412 million North American total for Warner Bros. “Aquaman,” [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Box Office: 'Aquaman,' 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Box Office: 'Aquaman' Battles 'Mary Poppins Returns' in Crowded Holiday Weekend

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most competitive time at the multiplexes. This weekend sees two very different heroes vying for the box office crown with “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” both eyeing sizable debuts. “Mary Poppins Returns” is getting a head start by opening on Wednesday, though estimates show “Aquaman” [...]

  • John Mulaney's Pitch for 'Spider-Ham' Film

    John Mulaney’s Pitch for ‘Spider-Ham’ Film: ‘‘Spotlight’ ... but Family Friendly'

    There is much to celebrate about “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”: groundbreaking inclusion, a ’90s hip-hop soundtrack, Kathryn Hahn’s neurotic villain. But the arguable breakout star of the film is Peter Porker, aka Spider-Ham, voiced by John Mulaney. The prolific comedy writer, stand-up, and rising animation star (see “Big Mouth”) charms as one of the more [...]

  • Penny Marshall Dead

    Hollywood Pays Tribute to 'Trailblazer,' 'Pioneer' Penny Marshall

    Stars across Hollywood are mourning Penny Marshall, who died Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes, Variety has confirmed. The “Laverne & Shirley” star was 75. Marshall first rose to fame playing Laverne DeFazio in the hit ABC series “Laverne & Shirley” before going on to become the first woman to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content