It’s being reported that Jake Gyllenhaal is set to play the late musician Leonard Bernstein in a biopic titled The American.
Gyllenhaal developed The American along with Riva Marker through their production company Nine Stories, and True Detective and Beasts of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga will direct and produce. The screenplay was written by Michael Mitnick (The Giver, Vinyl), adapted from the Humphrey Burton biography titled Leonard Bernstein.
Continue reading for more info on the movie, as well as some statements from those involved.
Of the news Gyllenhaal said:
“Like many people, Leonard Bernstein found his way into my life and heart through West Side Story when I was a kid. 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.”
Fukunaga also released a statement, saying:
“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.”
The American will be structured uniquely, presented in five movements similar to the structure of a symphony. The film will tell Bernstein’s story, including when he was 25 years old and conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, his rise to fame, and his struggle with living up to the expectations everyone had for him, himself included.
No release window for the film has been announced yet.