The battle of the swinging batons is finally over. In summer 2018 came the news that the composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein had been caught in an unlikely tug-of-war between two of Hollywood’s leading actors, Jake Gyllenhaal and Bradley Cooper, both vying to play him in high-profile biopics.

Gyllenhaal was going to team up with the director Cary Fukunaga, who ended up taking charge of the next Bond film instead, but Cooper then swooped in with his own project, backed by would-be producers Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. The Bernstein estate got behind Cooper and gave him the rights to Bernstein’s music.

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