‘Jake Gyllenhaal is set to produce and star as Leonard Bernstein in The American, with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing and producing. BRON Studios will produce and finance a film that begins principal photography in the fall. Sierra/Affinity will sell international territories and Endeavor Content is repping North American rights. Michael Mitnick adapted the script from the Humphrey Burton biography Leonard Bernstein. Structured in five movements, like a symphony, The American follows Bernstein from conducting the New York Philharmonic at the age of 25 and through a meteoric rise to fame, all while struggling both personally and publicly to be everything that everyone expected him to be, most of all himself.
The film was developed from scratch by Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker through their Gotham-based Nine Stories production banner. It marks another Nine Stories-produce vehicle for Gyllenhaal to play a non-fiction character after he portrayed the Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman in the critically acclaimed Stronger last fall. Gyllenhaal and Marker produce with BRON’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Fukunaga’s Parliament of Owls and Martha Parker. Jason Cloth of Creative Wealth Media, Mitnick, and Adam Gopnik are executive producers.
The latest film from Nine Stories, Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife, is the opening night film for Critics’ Week at Cannes.
Gyllenhaal and Nine Stories are represented by WME and Bloom Hergott; Fukunaga is WME, Anonymous Content, and Lichter Grossman.’