Whether it’s his commercially-successful role in The Hangover franchise, his Oscar-nominated turn in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), or his tenure as the wise-cracking, loudmouth, Rocket Raccoon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bradley Cooper is a well-established, multi-talented actor.
Now, in his directorial follow-up to the acclaimed A Star Is Born (2018), Cooper will star as the legendary composer, Leonard Bernstein in Maestro (TBA).
Bradley Cooper has been entertaining Marvel fans for the last eight years. Debuting as Rocket Raccoon in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), alongside Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord) and Groot (Vin Diesel), among others, the snarky character went on to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), as well as helping Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) save the entire universe against the enemy Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
This year, Cooper and the other Guardians of the Galaxy franchise actors including Pom Klemetieff (Mantis) will appear with Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/Mighty Thor), and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), before The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023).
The third installment in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will be the last MCU entry for most of its stars. Director James Gunn has been open about moving on from Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios, as has Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer). While people like Pratt, Cooper, Diesel, Zoe Saldana (Gamora), and Karen Gillan (Nebula), haven’t explicitly stated this is the end for them, Gunn revealed that it would be “the last” for most of them.
Earlier this year, Cooper stated that he was looking forward to only starring in projects he has written or directed, quietly confirming his time as Rocket Raccoon in the MCU is likely up by 2023.
One of those projects is Maestro.
Maestro stars Cooper as Berstein, with Carey Mulligan and Jeremy Strong, as Felicia Montealegre and John Gruen, respectively. Maya Hawke and Matt Bomer also star in Netflix’s upcoming biopic. As with many biographical feature films, the actors playing the characters need costuming, makeup, and hairstyling to truly bring the character to life — think Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011), Gary Oldman’s Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour (2017), and this year’s Best Actress Oscar-winner, Jessica Chastain as the eponymous character in The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021).
In a similar fashion, Cooper has been completely transformed to look like Leonard Bernstein. First images have been revealed of the actor’s next role in Maestro, shocking the internet. Variety shared photographs of Cooper as Leonard Bernstein:
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Here’s Bradley Cooper fully transformed into Leonard Bernstein for #Maestro, his directorial follow-up to “A Star Is Born.” More first look details here:
Your eyes aren't deceiving you. Here's Bradley Cooper fully transformed into Leonard Bernstein for #Maestro, his directorial follow-up to "A Star Is Born." More first look details here: https://t.co/zqNlCSP37M pic.twitter.com/AG1xQfiI1p
— Variety (@Variety) May 30, 2022
A recipient of many accolades including Tony, Emmy, and Grammy awards, Leonard Bernstein is one of Broadway’s most prolific composers. Perhaps most well-known for his work on West Side Story, Bernstein’s other theater works included On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide, and MASS.
Maestro, which explores Bernstein’s marriage to Mulligan’s Felicia Montealegre, is produced by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Hangover director, Todd Phillips, among others. It will release on Netflix sometime in 2023.
As for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Will Poulter will join the cast as Adam Warlock in the live-action Marvel Universe.
What do you think of Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein? Let us know in the comments down below!