Bradley Cooper's Maestro Adds Matt Bomer

The last we heard of Bradley Cooper's second stint behind the camera, his Leonard Bernstein biopic "Maestro" was set to begin filming in May — just in time for production to kick off, the film is solidifying its cast. According to The Wrap, Matt Bomer is in talks to join the cast of the upcoming film, which features Cooper as both director and star. Bomer is well-known for the role of Ken in "Magic Mike" and his longtime run as Neal Caffrey in "White Collar," but you may also recognize him from the ever-expanding Ryan Murphy extended universe. This includes everything from "Glee" to "American Horror Story" and, most recently, the Netflix adaptation of Mart Crowley's 1968 play, "The Boys in the Band."

In "Maestro," Bomer is set to star opposite Cooper as one of Bernstein's lovers, a clarinet player with whom he had a brief relationship. During his lifetime, the legendary composer never confirmed his sexuality but after his death in 1990, his wife acknowledged that he was gay and had relationships with men. The film stars Carey Mulligan as Bernstein's wife, artist Felicia Montealegre, with whom he had three children. So far Cooper, Mulligan, and Bomer are the only cast members announced.

Bradley Cooper's Maestro

Bradley Cooper made a massive splash with his directorial debut, which took both the airwaves and the Oscars by storm in 2019. After years of "Shallow" rattling around in our brains, Cooper is pivoting to get us hooked on some Bernstein classics with his much anticipated follow-up. To do so, he has more than enough material to mine from: Bernstein's life and career are more than enough to fill an entire series. When another conductor took ill, Bernstein made his conducting debut at 25, at the New York Philharmonic, doing so well that he made the front page of The New York Times. For a time, he was blacklisted before being cleared of being a communist. Then, as a conductor and composer, he worked on Broadway giants like "West Side Story," and composed film scores for classics like "On the Waterfront." He also had an extensive track record as a humanitarian, including being an outspoken activist for the Civil Rights movement and the end of the Vietnam War. With so much to parse through, "Maestro" is less of an overall biopic and focuses on a specific aspect of Bernstein's life: the beautifully complex story of his marriage with Montealegre.

The film is set to span over 30 years in the famed composer's life with Montealegre — from the time they met in 1946  and continuing through two engagements, a 25-year marriage, and three children. Cooper obtained the rights from the Bernstein estate and has been working closely with Bernstein's children, Jamie, Alexander and Nina for the past three years. Originally, the film was set at Paramount with Steven Spielberg planning to direct and Cooper set to star. But Spielberg's busy schedule and Cooper's interest in filmmaking led him to directly ask for the chance to take over as writer and director of the film. The film has since moved to Netflix, with a script that Cooper co-wrote with Oscar-winning "Spotlight" scribe, Josh Singer. "Maestro" is produced by Spielberg in addition to Martin Scorsese, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Fred Berner and Amy Durning.

Both helming the film and starring in the lead role fulfill lifelong dreams for Cooper, who told Variety back in January that he always dreamed of being a conductor. Cooper said: 

"AII wanted was to be a conductor since I was a kid. I was obsessed with it, asked Santa Claus for a baton when I was 8. Listening to music, falling in love with it and being able to really know every single moment of a piece, like Tchaikovsky's 'Opus 35' in D major, this violin concerto. I could do it as if I know everything about it without really being able to speak the language, obviously.

As of yet, no release date has been set for "Maestro."