Martin Scorsese May Direct a Leonard Bernstein Biopic

     October 28, 2015

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Martin Scorsese has a massive slate on his plate. After directing the Oscar-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street and the pilot episode of the upcoming HBO series Vinyl, his next film will be Silence, which he wrapped earlier this year. Now, his slate is getting even bigger. In renewing their deal with the filmmaker, Paramount is developing a number of films for him to direct. The most notable of them all is a biopic of renowned composer Leonard Bernstein.

Bernstein’s works are legendary — including West Side Story, Candide, and Trouble in Tahiti — and he also made his mark as an adept orchestral conductor. According to THR, the intention is for Scorsese to direct the work and he probably will, but it’s not greenlight at this time and remains in development. No specific details were given about the biopic other than that it will explore Bernstein’s life.


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Image via Paramount

Josh Singer will pen the script, which is another intriguing detail. Singer co-wrote the investigative journalism drama Spotlight with director Tom McCarthy. While that film won’t hit theaters until November 6, early buzz from the film festival circuit pegs this work as the clear frontrunner for Best Picture at the Oscars. Teaming Singer with Scorsese is a success-yielding formula.

In the meantime, Silence — which stars Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Ken Watanabe — is slated for a 2016 release. Two other projects incorporating this renewed Paramount deal are The Irishman with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino; and The Devil in the White City, another Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio team-up. Paramount CEO Brad Grey has a long history with the filmmaker going back to his days producing 2006’s The Departed. The studio has backed Scorsese’s past three films — Wolf, Hugo, and Shutter Island — and they’re are eager to maintain this relationship.


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