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Paramount Closes Deal for Leonard Bernstein Life Rights for Biopic Starring Bradley Cooper

Paramount Pictures and Amblin Partners have finalized a deal to secure the music and life rights from Leonard Bernstein’s estate, with Bradley Cooper in talks to direct, produce, and star in a biopic about the legendary composer.

Josh Singer wrote the script, and Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Fred Berner, Amy Durning, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce. Cooper will also produce the film through his production company, Joint Effort.

Bernstein’s unique versatility earned him unmatched recognition as the preeminent American composer of the 20th century. An internationally celebrated musician, conductor, pianist, and artist, Bernstein gained ubiquitous acclaim for his vast talent as the youngest-ever music director of the New York Philharmonic, as well as his many compositions for such revered productions as “West Side Story,” “On the Waterfront,” and “Peter Pan,” as well as scores of other orchestral arrangements, symphonies, and musical pieces.

“In our father’s centennial year celebration, we are delighted to form an exclusive and unprecedented partnership with Paramount Pictures, Amblin and this extraordinary group of filmmakers to create a Leonard Bernstein biographical film” said Jamie, Alexander, and Nina Bernstein. “They understand our father and are passionate about telling his story. We are proud to announce we are collaborating closely to help them achieve their vision and granting them unique access to his fascinating life story and his diverse body of music.

With a creative team that includes Bradley Cooper, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Josh Singer, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Emma Tillinger Koskoff — alongside producers Fred Berner and Amy Durning whose consistent passion has driven this project for nearly a decade — we think that even Leonard Bernstein himself would be impressed.”

Scorsese and his producing partner Koskoff first became involved with the Bernstein family several years ago. Due to Scorsese’s incredibly busy production schedule and the need for some rewriting, Spielberg and Cooper became engaged with the project and reengaged the Bernstein estate. Cooper will now work in conjunction with the other producers and Singer to further work on the script.

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