Jake Gyllenhaal Is Playing Leonard Bernstein In Cary Fukunaga’s ‘The American’
Here’s some awesome news: there’s a new Cary Fukunaga project on the way (in addition to his Netflix show). I’ll make that news even better: it’s a Leonard Bernstein biopic, and Jake Gyllenhaal is playing the famed composer.
Gyllenhaal will produce and star in The American, which Fukunaga is directing from a script by Michael Mitnick (The Current War, Vinyl). The biopic, which Variety reports will be crafted into five movements, like a symphony, will detail Bernstein’s life, from conducting the New York Philharmonic at 25 years old to conducting orchestras and symphonies across the world and becoming a renowned composer, all while “struggling both personally and publicly to be everything that everyone expected him to be, most of all himself.” Bernstein is most celebrated for composing the legendary music for musicals West Side Story, 1950’s Peter Pan, On the Town, Candide, and On the Waterfront.
Gyllenhaal may not be the only Bernstein on the big screen though. Earlier this year, reports suggested Steven Spielberg was setting his sights on a Leonard Bernstein biopic. But he’s a little busy with Indiana Jones 5 and that West Side Story remake and maybe that DC Blackhawk movie, so it looks like Fukunaga’s biopic will arrive first. And for those anxious to know what a Fukunaga-Gyllenhaal musical pairing will look like, we luckily have already gotten a taste.
Remember when the actor was starring in Broadway’s Sunday in the Park With George last fall? Fukunaga dropped by the theater and shot a quick little video of Gyllenhaal crooning on stage, in a gorgeous one-take (of course). If this Bernstein biopic is anything like that, we’re in for something real special. I’ll just drop that video right here for your viewing pleasure.