Do you hear the? That’s the sound of Netflix making room on its shelf for the Oscars it’s likely to win for its upcoming Leonard Bernstein biopic, Maestro, as it offers our first look at an almost unrecognizable Bradley Cooper in the title role.
Maestro is said to span 30 years in the life of the celebrated American conductor, composer, author and pianist, with Cooper Bernstein starring alongside Carey Mulligan as his wife Felicia Montealegre at various stages of his life.
As you can see from the images above and below, we’re expecting Maestro to be at least one shoo-in for the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Academy Award, with Cooper sporting some of the most compelling prosthetic aging makeup we’ve seen of Kazu Hiro.
From the MAESTRO set. pic.twitter.com/y3qsYILk6PMay 30, 2022
Aside from acting on the film, Maestro is Cooper’s long-awaited directing sequel to the award-winning megahit A Star Is Born and also has him co-write alongside Spotlight screenwriter Josh Singer.
The film originally began as a possible directing project for Steven Spielberg. As Cooper explained in a recent interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, Spielberg initially only wanted Cooper to act as Bernstein, but was convinced during his first viewing of A Star Is Born that he should also direct.
Spielberg, who famously said Netflix films shouldn’t win Oscars, would remain as producer alongside Martin Scorsese. Coincidentally, Spielberg directed a remake of West Side Story that features music by Bernstein. You can watch that portion of Cooper’s interview with Colbert below.
As stressed by meeting (opens in new tab)Leonard Bernstein’s extraordinary life could fill an entire Netflix series – the conductor rose to stardom at age 25 when he filled in for an ailing Bruno Walter to conduct the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall with less than 24 hours’ notice.
He was later accused of being a communist because he and his wife landed on the FBI’s security index for his political outspokenness and civil rights activism, which included support for the Black Panther Party.
This would lead to his blacklisting in Hollywood just to clear his reputation just before composing his score for On The Waterfront, directed by Elia Kazan, who “named” infamous names of suspected communists in the film industry and who later went on to move on would become a Hollywood outcast.
Needless to say, Cooper has plenty of material to work with in Maestro, which is expected to be released on Netflix sometime in 2023 after a small theatrical run (for awards purposes).
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