Bradley Cooper may be reuniting with Clint Eastwood for his next film.
Sources tell Variety that Cooper is in talks to join Eastwood in “The Mule,” Eastwood’s next directing gig that he also plans to star in.
The film is a co-production between Warner Bros. and Imperative Entertainment, and will mark Eastwood’s first time acting since the baseball drama “Trouble With the Curve.” This could be one of his last on-screen appearances.
The movie follows 90-year-old drug courier Leo Sharp, an award-winning horticulturist and decorated WWII veteran known for his prized daylilies who is busted for running drugs for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, and sent to prison at the age of 90. He was transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan in his beat-up old pickup truck when he was arrested by the DEA. Sharp was sentenced to just three years in jail after his lawyer argued that his client’s dementia sent him down the wrong path.
Cooper will be the DEA agent who arrests Sharp.
Eastwood will also produce via his Malpaso banner along with Imperative’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas.
Cooper has been busy putting the finishing touches on “A Star Is Born,” but sources say he had been weighing what would be his next project.
Cooper had been linked to “The Mule” for some time as Eastwood is a big fan of Cooper’s after working together on “American Sniper.”
Cooper is repped by CAA.
DEADLINE EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Amblin will co-finance Bernstein, a film about iconic composer Leonard Bernstein that Bradley Cooper will star in and direct, and he will write the script with Josh Singer, who shared the Best Original Screenplay Oscar with Tom McCarthy for Spotlight. Cooper, through his Joint Effort banner, will produce with Fred Berner, Amy Durning, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. Paramount/Amblin have confirmed and they closed an exclusive rights deal with the Bernstein estate, which gives them exclusive access to his songs and life rights.
This becomes the second film with towering creatives taking on the life of Bernstein and his rise from prodigy to such acclaimed works as West Side Story. Deadline last week revealed The American, a Bernstein film that will star Jake Gyllenhaal with Cary Joji Fukunaga directing a script that Michael Mitnick wrote from the Humphrey Burton biography Leonard Bernstein. That film is one of the hot titles here in the Cannes market, with Sierra/Affinity and Endeavor Content selling. It is fully financed by BRON and international sales are taking place as we speak, and the film has a firm start date in the fall.
The Paramount/Amblin project is a surprise contender. Sources said that Berner and Durning have worked on this one for about a decade to secure the rights with the Bernstein family. At one time, Scorsese was interested in directing before committing to The Irishman. Singer came on board to write the script five years ago. The rights lapsed due to delays on the script, but those producers kept at it and Singer turned in his draft last September. They re-engaged with the estate when Spielberg and Cooper came aboard.
Gyllenhaal and his Nine Stories partner Riva Marker have been developing their project for years, also. They are producing with Fukunaga and BRON’s Aaron Gilbert, and they have also been engaged with the Bernstein estate. Gyllenhaal and Marker just went through a competitive project situation with Stronger, in which he played Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman in an acclaimed performance.
Cooper takes this one after completing his directorial debut on A Star Is Born, in which he stars with Lady Gaga for Warner Bros. He has been nominated for four Oscars, the last coming on American Sniper.
Cooper is repped by CAA.