Maestro: Carey Mulligan joins Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic
According to Deadline, Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan (An Education) has signed on for the leading role in Bradley Cooper’s next directorial project titled Maestro, centering around the marriage between award-winning composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife, actress Felicia Montealegre. On top of directing, the Oscar-nominated actor will also be starring in the upcoming Netflix film with Mulligan set to portray the role of Felicia.
“I was struck by Carey ever since I saw her on stage many years ago and I haven’t missed a performance of hers since,” Cooper said in a statement. “I am humbled to be working with such a mammoth talent, as well as such a kind person in Carey.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Carey Mulligan will play our mother in Maestro,” one of the children of Leonard and Felicia Bernstein, Jamie Bernstein said. “Carey will surely capture Felicia’s unique combination of wit, warmth, elegant beauty, and depth of emotion. We also love the way Carey conveys a kind of storybook European grace, which was something our mother embodied as well.”
Maestro will span over 30 years in telling the beautifully complex story of the marriage between Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre. Bernstein’s colorful life included making a memorable conducting debut at the New York Philharmonic at 25 when the conductor took ill. Without even rehearsing, Bernstein did so well his star was launched the next day when his feat made the front page of the New York Times. He was blacklisted before being cleared of being a communist just before he composed the Oscar-nominated score for On the Waterfront, and he was an activist in the civil rights movement, and outspoken on issues including ending the Vietnam War.
Cooper’s main focus on the project has always been the “charged and complex relationship” between Bernstein and Montealegre. The star and filmmaker has reportedly been working closely with Bernstein’s children Jamie, Alexander, and Nina, over the past couple of years.
Maestro is co-written by Cooper and Josh Singer with Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Cooper, and his Joint Effort producing partner Todd Phillips (Joker), Kristie Macosko Krieger, Oscar-nominated producer Emma Tilliinger Koskoff (The Irishman, Joker), and Fred Berner and Amy Durning set as producers.
Paramount is no longer involved with the project. Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is still attached. Production on the drama is expected to begin early next year. The streamer will give the film a significant theatrical release before it moves exclusively to Netflix.
(Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)