The 'Jarhead' actor will also produce the Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed film, which is adapted from a biography written by Humphrey Burton.

AceShowbiz - Jake Gyllenhaal will portray composer Leonard Bernstein in a new biopic. The "Jarhead" star will also produce director Cary Joji Fukunaga's new film "The American (2019)", which will be adapted from Humphrey Burton's biography, "Leonard Bernstein".

Gyllenhaal will pick up Bernstein's life as a rookie conductor at the New York Philharmonic at the age of 25 and portray the composer through his highs and lows as he grappled with fame and success. "Like many people, Leonard Bernstein found his way into my life and heart through West Side Story when I was a kid," Gyllenhaal says in a statement.

"But as I got older and started to learn about the scope of his work, I began to understand the extent of his unparalleled contribution and the debt of gratitude modern American culture owes him," he continues. "As a man, Bernstein was a fascinating figure - full of genius and contradiction - and it will be an incredible honour to tell his story with a talent and friend like Cary."

Fukunaga adds, "Bernstein's artistic passions changed the way generations understood and appreciated music... Jake is the perfect partner to help bring this story to life and to play this legend."

Gyllenhaal will also be a big part of the opening night at this month's Cannes Film Festival in France. His new film "Wildlife", which also stars Paul Dano and Carey Mulligan, will launch the event.

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