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Jeremy Allen White might portray Springsteen in biopic

By Rosa Cartagena, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Published: April 6, 2024, 6:00am

Say yes to the chef because Jeremy Allen White, the star of the Emmy-winning drama-comedy “The Bear,” is the top contender to play Bruce Springsteen in an upcoming biopic, according to Deadline.

Though still in early stages, studio A24 is in early talks to make the film, which will be an adaptation of Warren Zanes’ recent book “Deliver Me From Nowhere: The Making of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.”

Springsteen and his manager Jon Landau are “actively involved” in the film’s development, Deadline reports. Director Scott Cooper is writing the adapted script and plans to direct. He previously directed the 2009 film “Crazy Heart,” also a book adaptation, inspired by country singer Hank Thompson.

Released in 1982, “Nebraska” was Springsteen’s sixth studio album and first solo project, infused with folk and harmonica-heavy tracks about violence, desperation and blue-collar struggles.

Between “The River” and “Born in the U.S.A.,” he recorded 10 songs by himself, including the popular single “Atlantic City,” on a four-track cassette from his bedroom in Colts Neck, N.J. It was a surprising departure from his signature rousing sound with the E Street Band, delivering raw, emotional, and haunting lyrics that also touched on his complicated relationship with his father, who had severe mental health issues and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.

As Zanes details in his book, which features interviews with everyone involved in the album, Springsteen opened up about his own experiences with depression and anxiety during the “Nebraska” songwriting process. Decades later, the Boss considers it his most definitive album. Though details are scant, the film will likely center on a young, angsty Springsteen writing in a New Jersey farmhouse as he copes with mounting fame and mental illness through his music.

White is familiar with characters managing difficult family dynamics and flawed parents, from his current role as “The Bear’s” Carmy Berzatto, a decorated but troubled chef in Chicago coping with his brother’s suicide.