Jake Gyllenhaal To Star As Composer Leonard Bernstein In Cary Fukunaga's 'The American'

Cary Fukunaga has kept plenty busy on the small screen with True Detective, TNT's The Alienist, and this summer's Maniac on Netflix, but he hasn't directed a film since 2015's Beasts of No Nation. That's entirely too long and thankfully is about to change as he's decided on his next film, and it's going to put Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein.

Fukunaga will direct Gyllenhaal in The American, a biopic based on the biography Leonard Bernstein by Humphrey Burton. Bernstein earned an Oscar nomination for composing On the Waterfront, and earned 11 Emmys throughout his career, plus a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1985.  Here's the official synopsis:

“In five movements, like a symphony, “The American” follows Leonard Bernstein from conducting the New York Philharmonic at the impressive age of 25 through the meteoric rise to fame, all while struggling both personally and publicly to be everything that everyone expected him to be, most of all himself.”

This will be the first time Fukunaga and Gyllenhaal have ever paired up on a feature film, although they did work together on the actor's rehearsal video of "Finishing the Hat" from Stephen Sondheim‘s Sunday in the Park with George. They will both produce, as well, with Michael Mitnick (Vinyl) providing the screenplay. Gyllenhaal will be seen next in Paul Dano's directorial debut, Wildlife, which premiered at Sundance. [Deadline]