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Scott Stuber Sets First Post-Netflix Film: Bruce Springsteen & ‘Nebraska’; Scott Cooper Directing, Jeremy Allen White Circling Along With A24; Ellen Goldsmith-Vein & Eric Robinson Producing: The Dish

EXCLUSIVE: In his first major film project since leaving as Netflix Film boss, Scott Stuber has teamed with Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein & Eric Robinson to make a film about The Boss. Scott Cooper is writing to direct Deliver Me from Nowhere, a narrative feature about Bruce Springsteen and the long effort to put together his seminal 1982 album Nebraska, which started to take shape as he and the E Street Band were laying down tracks for his massive hit album Born in the USA. It’s an adaptation of the Warren Zanes book published last year.

The Bear star Jeremy Allen White is top choice to play Springsteen, and talks are underway with A24 to make the movie. Negotiations haven’t begun with the actor, who would head to New Jersey for a fall shoot after the Emmy winner finishes Season 4 of The Bear in June.

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As we’ve learned, Springsteen’s huge stardom and status as the premier lyricist and melody maker over decades is belied with the personal circumstances of an upbringing with a father who suffered from depression, something Springsteen also has battled. He was feeling the effects in 1982 and poured a lot of that darkness into Nebraska, which many call his rawest and best album. He was in the process of dealing with becoming a global superstar and wrote those songs not really intending to turn them into an album. He did it with a simple four-track recorder alone in a bedroom in a house he rented in Colts Neck, NJ.

The Terrence Malick film Badlands was a major influence, and Springsteen addressed it directly in the song “Nebraska” and tracks including “Atlantic City,” “Highway Patrolman,” “State Trooper” and many others. Every song is a classic. This came after the big success of his albums Born To Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town and The River. Nebraska was the follow-up to The River, and then came Born in the USA. Even though that album’s title tune was about a despondent Vietnam vet, it was such an anthem that its meaning was confused for a long time.

Cooper transitioned from actor to writer-director with 2009’s music-themed Crazy Heart, which won Oscars for star Jeff Bridges as well as T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham for their original song “The Weary Kind,” with Maggie Gyllenhaal getting a nomination. Cooper’s back full circle, with The Boss.

Springsteen and his manager Jon Landau are actively involved in the project, and more details will be forthcoming. The Boss has written or lent songs for movies that spoke to him, and he won the Best Original Song Oscar for “Streets of Philadelphia” in 1994. He has made movies about specific albums that he has directed with Thom Zimny, but this is new ground for the star.

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