One of the most anticipated movies of the year is Maestro. The new film will be Bradley Cooper’s second directorial effort following the massive success of A Star Is Born! The biographical drama is based on the life of famed composer Leonard Bernstein.
The first trailer, which was released on August 15, gave a glimpse at the incredible performances. The footage included gorgeous black and white scenes before seguing into vibrant technicolor. The official trailer was released on October 25 and revealed Leonard’s love story with his wife is at the center of the film. The trailer begins and ends with wise words from Felicia that have stayed with Leonard: “If summer doesn’t sing in you, then nothing sings in you. And if nothing sings in you then you can’t make music.”
The team in front of and behind the camera is top-notch, so it’s no surprise that Maestro already has a lot of awards season buzz. Before it hits theaters and Netflix, here’s a roundup of everything you need to know about Maestro.
Maestro Release Date
Maestro will be released in select theaters on November 22, 2023. Nearly a month later, the film will be available to stream on Netflix. Maestro’s Netflix release date is December 20, 2023.
Back in June 2022, Bradley was certain Maestro wouldn’t be released until the fall of 2023. “It won’t come out until the fall of , I think,” he said on the Smartless podcast.” The movie’s late 2023 release date means Netflix is gearing up for Maestro to be a serious contender for the Oscars in 2024.
Maestro Cast & Crew
Besides directing, Bradley will also play the starring role of Leonard Bernstein. The composer was one of the great musical icons of the 20th century. Born in Massachusetts in 1918, Leonard composed a number of beloved musical pieces throughout his life until his death at age 72 in 1990. He’s best known for writing the music for West Side Story, but he also composed three symphonies and many more songs.
Besides Bradley, Promising Young Woman actress Carey Mulligan will star alongside him as Leonard’s wife, Felicia Montealegre. Leonard and the actress were married from 1951 until her death from lung cancer at age 56 in 1978. Magic Mike actor Matt Bomer will be playing Leonard’s lover, according to Variety. While details about Matt’s character are scarce, sources reportedly told the outlet that he’d be playing a musician whom the composer had a short fling with.
Many other major celebrities have been cast as members of the Bernstein family. Stranger Things star Maya Hawke will be playing Leonard and Felicia’s daughter, Jamie. Sam Nivola will play Leonard and Felicia’s son, Alexander. And Just Like That’s Alexa Swinton will play Nina Bernstein. Sarah Silverman is set to play Leonard’s sister, Shirley. Additional cast members include Michael Urie as Jerome Robbins, Gideon Glick as Tommy Cothran, and Miriam Shor as Cynthia O’Neal.
Succession star Jeremy Strong was supposed to have a role in the film. However, he had to drop out due to “scheduling conflicts,” according to GQ.
Who Is the Creative Team?
As mentioned above, Maestro will be Bradley’s second directorial effort. He co-wrote the film with Josh Singer. The film’s producers include Bradley, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Fred Berner, Amy Durning, and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The executive producers are Carla Raji, Josh Singer, Bobby Wilhem, Weston Middleton, and Tracey Landon.
Bradley revealed that Steven had originally planned to direct, but he offered him the film after speaking with the Silver Linings Playbook star and seeing A Star is Born. Bradley opened up about wanting to direct the film and asking the legendary director for the opportunity in a January 2022 appearance on The Late Show. “[Spielberg] happened to know that I had this obsession with conducting,” he said. Bradley revealed what the director told him while watching his first movie: “You’re f***ing directing Maestro.”
While there’s so much to cover in Leonard Bernstein’s life, it’s impossible to fit it all in one picture. The film’s official synopsis reads, “Maestro is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. A love letter to life and art, Maestro at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love.”
Given the time that the couple first met and when Felicia died, the movie will certainly give glimpses into the late composer’s work. Since West Side Story debuted in 1957, it seems likely that the movie will include his work on the Broadway musical. Some of Leonard’s other major works that will hopefully be portrayed in the movie include the score for On The Waterfront in 1954, as well as his symphonies “Chichester Psalms” (1965) and “Serenade After Plato’s ‘Symposium'” (1954).
The film has been a long time coming, with different directors attached at different points throughout the development until Steven Spielberg gave the project to The Hangover star. Bradley announced that the movie would start filming in May 2022 during an “Actors On Actors” conversation in January of that year with Variety. The first photos of him in costume as the legendary composer were also released in May, showing his complete transformation into the famed musician. Photos of Bradley and Matt filming a kissing scene surfaced in June.
While much of Leonard’s major career events took place in New York, the movie was filmed both in the U.S. and Europe. Bradley explained a rundown of the schedule in the above-mentioned Smartless podcast. “We started shooting in Massachusetts, then New York, then East Hampton, then we take a break, and then we go to Italy for three weeks, and then we end in London,” he said.