After landing Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) to star in the film last year, Jeremy Strong (The Trial of the Chicago 7) has entered negotiations to co-star in Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, according to Deadline.
Strong is currently in talks to star as John Gruen, a renaissance man and critic for The New York Herald Tribune and New York Magazine beginning in the ’50s and wrote the authorized biography The Private World of Leonard Bernstein in 1968. Should the deal go through, the Succession Emmy winner would star alongside co-writer/director Cooper in the lead role of Bernstein, as well as Mulligan as Bernstein’s wife Felicia Montealegre.
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 Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)