Clint Eastwood is going to direct and produce, while Beyonce will headline a musical remake of ‘A Star Is Born,’ the Hollywood morality tale about an alcoholic actor on his way down who takes under his wing and nurtures a young female artist who eventually eclipses his star, according to the Deadline.com
Eastwood’s film will be the fourth version of the story: in 1937 by William Wellman with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March; in 1954, directed by George Cukor with James Mason and Judy Garland; and then again in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
The film, being written by newcomer Will Fetters and produced by Billy Gerber, Basil Iwanyk and Jon Peters (who made the infamous third version), is set up Warner Bros., where it has been floating around for sometime, at one point with Nick Cassavetes interested in directing.
Beyonce Knowles is in talks to play Esther Blodgett, the small-town girl who arrives in Hollywood dreaming of fame. She meets and falls in love with Norman Maine, an alcoholic former matinee idol who guides her to stardom but finds his own career on the wane.
The role of Maine is yet to be cast but Robert Downey Jr and Russell Crowe have each been linked to the role. Knowles is best known as a singer but she proved her acting credentials in Dreamgirls, the 2006 film based on the real-life story of ‘The Supremes.’
Clint Eastwood is also no stranger to music and musicals (he played the DJ and picked the music for his directorial debut, 1971’s ‘Play Misty for Me,’ stared – and sang – in the forgettable 1969 ‘Paint Your Wagon, and directed ‘Bird,’ 1988, about jazz great Charlie Parker).
“Hey, I’m one of those huge fans who thinks Clint can do anything.” says DeadLine’s Nikki Finke. “And Beyoncé scored at the box office for Screen Gems – one of its biggest – in Obsessed. This is going to be a high profile film but low cost since Eastwood is at the helm. The idea is to start shooting in the Fall.”
Warner Bros confirmed that Eastwood, 80, is in negotiations to take on the project. A Star Is Born was last filmed in 1976, with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson in the lead roles. Streisand won an Oscar for the theme tune, Evergreen, but film fans remain divided on its merits.
Judy Garland and James Mason starred in the acclaimed 1954 version, which garnered six Oscar nominations and is regularly voted amongst the greatest musicals of all time. The 1937 original featured Janet Gaynor and Fredric Marsh and won an honorary Academy Award for its use of Technicolour, which was then in its infancy.
Eastwood now spends most of his time behind the camera and has expressed a desire to make more films with female leads after the success of ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ in which Hilary Swank played a boxer.
“I’ve always been intrigued by [their] stories,” Clint Eastwood said. “I think women have more of an uphill battle than men have, so it becomes a more dramatic situation.” [via PopEater, The Telegraph (UK) and Dead Line]