You’ve got a while to wait before you can see Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein film “Maestro.” The drama makes its world premiere on Sept. 2 at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, followed by a limited theatrical run stateside in November ahead of its Netflix debut. But you can tide yourself over with the first trailer — watch it at the top of the page now.
Described as “a love letter to life and art” and “an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love,” “Maestro” will undoubtedly chart the ups and downs of the Bernsteins’ relationship, with Leonard living a very complicated life as a closeted gay man who still loved and looked after his wife of many years (they had three children together).
Cooper, who directed and produced the film, and also co-wrote the screenplay with Josh Singer, plays Bernstein, with Carey Mulligan as Bernstein’s wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein.
Based on the trailer, the film boasts a number of different aesthetics and visual styles according to the time period in which they take place (not unlike Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator”). Cooper reunites with his “A Star Is Born” cinematographer Matthew Libatique on the project.
Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman, Michael Urie and Miriam Shore also star in “Maestro.”
Somewhat fittingly, “Maestro” has a fascinating production history, beginning life as a Martin Scorsese project at Paramount. When he left to do his long-gestating “The Irishman” for Netflix, the movie then moved to Steven Spielberg, who had long been interested in Bernstein (and who was mounting a new version of “West Side Story,” which featured music by Bernstein).
But Spielberg soon hired Cooper to direct, supposedly based on Spielberg watching (and being incredibly impressed by) Cooper’s terrific “A Star Is Born” remake. Both Spielberg and Scorsese retain producer credits on Cooper’s film. At the time “Maestro” was taking shape there was a competing Bernstein film being developed by Cary Joji Fukunaga with Jake Gyllenhaal starring as Bernstein, but that project seems to have fizzled out.
“Maestro” marks Cooper’s first starring role since “Nightmare Alley” in 2021 and his first film as a director since “A Star Is Born,” which made more than $400 million worldwide and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning for Best Original Song. Earlier this year Cooper made a cameo as a dwarf in “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” and appeared as Rocket in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
“Maestro” opens in theaters in November and will debut on Netflix on December 20.