Bernstein daily: Spielberg is pondering a biopic

March 13, 2018 by norman lebrecht


Aside from working on a film version of West Side Story, the director is widely reported tonight to be looking at filming a bipic of Leonard Bernstein.

Wonder who’ll play Glenn Gould.

Comments (22)

  1. Professor V says:

    Leonard Bernstein was more charismatic than the most charismatic actor. I can’t imagine anyone being able to portray him. Perhaps a well-thought-out documentary of his well photographed and recorded life would be a both more realistic and more tenable venture. Spielberg may want to tap Ken Burns to be the director of the documentary.

  2. M2N2K says:

    For Glenn Gould, it’s easy – Eddie Redmayne. He has a good experience playing a genius.
    For LB himself, a bit harder.
    How about Miles Teller as a young Lenny and Steve Carell in later years? Both of them would have to learn to speak about an octave lower than their natural voices.

    1. Sue says:

      And Eddie is an absolutely superb actor!! Bernstein could be played by Gary Oldham – that man can do ANYTHING. What about Stephen Sondheim? I’m sure Chenoweth and Stallmaster (if the latter is still going) are rubbing their hands.

  3. Rob says:

    Queue, I feel Pretty belted out at the top of his voice while standing in a boat in the middle of lake Wörthersee, then quickly merging into Veni creator spiritus ala Ken Russell.

  4. Hilary says:

    Depends on what period of Bernstein’s life. Michael Douglas has a certain likeness to the later years.

    ForGG , Ben Whishaw would be an alternative to aforementioned Eddie Redmayne.

    1. Sue says:

      Michael Douglas is too old now. He will always be identified with Liberace. Kevin Klein could play Sondheim (with the requisite make-up). Another actor/musician.

  5. Helene Kamioner says:

    I vote for Adrian Brody as the younger LB, and perhaps Donald Sutherland as the older LB

    1. Sue says:

      Brilliant!! Brody could play both the young and older Bernstein and he plays the piano too!!

      1. M2N2K says:

        Yes, AB could be good as LB at any age. But not DS – too tall and too old.

  6. La Verita says:

    Must you dig up Gould’s stinking performance of the Brahms Concerto?

    1. David R Osborne says:

      Yes. What a monumental stinker it is!

      1. La Verita says:

        Here’s a performance 2 years prior to the Gould performance, where Bernstein got it right:

    2. Hilary says:

      I can’t make huge claims for this performance ( for all it’s beauties,it’s often rather studied and self conscious) but the controversy seems less pronounced to modern ears as the tempo for the first movement isn’t so exceptional. Bernsten’s recording with Zimmerman adopts a similar tempo for instance.

  7. almaviva says:

    … And Larry David as Aaron Copland.

  8. Sue says:

    I’m nearly 100, so that was a good call!! OK, let’s do it again; Keanu Reeves for G
    len Gould, Kim Kardashian as Stephen Sondheim. Sigh.

  9. Rob says:

    And Woody Allen as a ‘older’ Gustav Mahler, who comes back in a Lenny dream to explain how the 10th Symphony has to be re-written, from scratch.

  10. Jayeff says:

    Is Lenny’s life free from the problems that have brought down Levine/Dutoit etc?

    1. Cyril Blair says:

      It is now…

  11. Adam Stern says:

    J. K. Simmons as Dimitri Mitropoulos!

  12. boringfileclerk says:

    I say that Nicolas Cage should play Lenny, although I don’t know if he’d be into the gay scenes.

  13. jansumi says:

    Someone other than Spielberg, please. Pablo Larrain maybe..

  14. Siegfried says:

    Where is Paul Lynde now that he’s needed?

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