Now here’s a pairing none of us saw coming: hot off an Oscar nomination for his powerhouse leading turn in American Sniper, Bradley Cooper has entered negotiations to take the reins on a Warner Bros. remake of A Star Is Born that was previously being circled by Cooper’s Sniper director Clint Eastwood. The redo, which has been in the pipeline for many years, had courted Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Tom Cruise over the years to star, but it’s expected that Cooper will also take on the male lead.
As for the equally important female lead, the project is apparently still angling for pop royalty, with eyes for veritable Queen of the World Beyoncé Knowles. Of course, Beyoncé has not yet been approached, but the producers are hoping to do that very quickly if Cooper signs a deal to direct.
A Star is Born is the story of a wide-eyed innocent with aspirations of making it, who gains an unlikely ally in the form of a washed out, alcoholic older leading man. William Wellman’s original take came in in 1937, but the story didn’t truly resonate with audiences until the 1954 musical version, starring Judy Garland and directed by George Cukor. Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson did a 1974 remake, but it never reached anywhere near the levels of acclaim or success that Garland’s take did.
Will Fetters (Remember Me, The Lucky One) scribed on Warner Bros.’ new take on the story, but Cooper is expected to also try his hand at screenwriting, tweaking the script in order to more accurately serve his vision should he take the reins.
None of this is quite official just yet, but it’s looking promising for the project, which has spent years languishing in development without a committed team in place to take it to the big screen. A Star Is Born may finally get its shot at the limelight once again, though, now that Cooper has entered the fray with the intention of mounting a prestige pic for his first directorial effort.