Monday, April 15, 2024

Exclusive: Bruce Springsteen Rumored to Be Working on Feature Film About the Making of “Nebraska” Album


There may be a Bruce Springsteen movie coming to us one day soon.

Sources say that Springsteen has been consulting on a possible feature film about the making of his watershed 1982 album, “Nebraska.”

I’m told Bruce has been collaborating with director-writer Scott Cooper, whose six terrific films include “Crazy Heart,” about a washed up country singer. Jeff Bridges won the 2010 Oscar for starring in that one, the movie also won Best Song. Maggie Gyllenhaal was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

The “Nebraska” story is legendary among Springsteen fans. The album, originally a set of demos set to be an E Street band rock collection, turned into a group of stark solo recordings. But songs that didn’t make the cut went on to be the basis of another landmark. 1984’s “Born in the USA.”

The songs were recorded on a four track tape recorder in Springsteen’s bedroom in Colts Neck, New Jersey. Bruce was 32, and going through a bout of depression he described later as “sludge.” He’d just screened Terence Malick’s classic 1973 film, “Badlands,” which wound up inspiring many of the songs including one about serial killer Charles Starkweather. Much has been written about the very dark, “Nebraska,” but it turned out to be a signal moment. In its process, “Born in the USA” emerged, and Bruce — already a rock star — became an icon.

So who will play Bruce? That’s the $64,000 question. At the time he was young and self-tortured. Austin Butler is a possibility but after playing Elvis Presley he might not be the right choice. Friends say Cooper has someone in mind — and definitely not Timothee Chalamet, who’s about to play Bob Dylan in another film. Cooper and Springsteen have been connected before: the director’s movie, “Out of the Furnace” has often been compared to Bruce’s best work.

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Here’s the demo for “Born in the USA,” which wound up on the Tracks album

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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