“Jake Gyllenhaal will portray West Side Story composer and New York Philharmonic conductor Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming film The American, which is set to begin production this fall,” writes Adam Hetrick in Wednesday’s (5/2) Playbill.com. “Cary Joji Fukunaga will direct and produce. Adapted from Humphrey Burton’s 2001 biography Leonard Bernstein, Michael Mitnick’s … screenplay for The American pays tribute … by structuring the film in five distinct movements…. In addition to his artistic endeavors, the film will explore Bernstein’s personal life, and his struggle to live up to his own expectations as an artist. The American will also capture Bernstein’s unexpected conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 25, a legendary concert that launched his career on the world stage … in November 1943…. ‘Like many people, Leonard Bernstein found his way into my life and heart through West Side Story when I was a kid,’ Gyllenhaal said…. ‘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…. Bernstein was a fascinating figure—full of genius and contradiction.’ ”

Posted May 4, 2018