Jake Gyllenhaal To Play Legendary Composer Leonard Bernstein in THE AMERICAN


Jake Gyllenhaal is a seriously talented actor. For the most part, he tends to choose great film projects to be a part of. I especially thought he gave a wonderful performance in the drama Stronger. He's now set to star in another biopic called The American, and in it, he will take on the role of Leonard Bernstein, the legendary and celebrated composer. 

At the age of 25, Bernstein became the conductor of the New York Philharmonic. He went on to compose music for major film productions, including West Side Story, Peter Pan and On the Waterfront. It's also said that he struggled privately with rising to his and the public’s expectations for his work. The story will follow Bernstein's ups and downs from conducting the New York Philharmonic in his 20s to his quick rise to stardom.

Gyllenhaal has said that West Side Story was a major influence on him as a kid and that as he got older he started listening to more and more of his work. He 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 honour to tell his story."

The film will be directed by Cary Fukunaga, who is best known for his work on the HBO hit True Detective and the acclaimed Netflix war drama Beasts of No Nation. He will direct from a script written by Michael Mitnick, who also wrote the script for The Giver and the short-lived HBO drama Vinyl.

Fukunaga added:

"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 is set to begin principal photography this fall.

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