Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper is looking to become a regular Hollywood Renaissance man, and he might be getting some help from Beyoncé to reach that goal. Deadline reports that Cooper is going to direct a long-gestating remake of the classic Hollywood drama A Star Is Born with Beyoncé being eyed to take on the role once played by Judy Garland. Having the hugely popular singer on board will certainly be an advantage as Cooper tries to transition toward being a multitalented star along the lines of Ben Affleck or George Clooney.
Deadline reports that Cooper will also star in the film that will serve as his directorial debut. The movie is about the dramatic love story between a young, talented woman who dreams of stardom and the self-destructive former star who chooses to help her get famous, meanwhile being tortured by the fact that he’s past his prime. Deadline said that Beyoncé was considering the role when Clint Eastwood was going to direct the movie, at which time Cooper was also looking to star, so she might still be interested. In addition to directing and starring in the movie, the publication says Cooper will work on the script as well with screenwriter Will Fetters, who completed the most recent draft.
This will be the fourth film version of A Star Is Born, though hopefully Beyoncé’s involvement will help differentiate this one from the others. The first came in 1937 from David O. Selznick with Janet Gaynor playing the aspiring actress and Fredric March playing the aging actor who helps her start her career. The 1954 version from George Cukor is the most famous, starring Judy Garland and James Mason. The 1976 version, which changed the setting from Hollywood to rock and roll stardom, starred Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and ended up taking home an Oscar for best original song. With a movie like this that’s been done over and over, Cooper really needs to bring something new to the table.
While everyone knows that Beyoncé is an incredible singer and performer, her most famous acting role is probably Austin Powers in Goldmember. While there are arguably fun moments in that movie, mostly provided by her, it’s hardly Oscar material. The singer has had some lesser known roles, though, that show she can handle a dramatic romantic musical. While the 2008 biopic Cadillac Records mostly came and went under the radar due to a lack of originality from the glut of music biopics, her performance as Etta James was widely praised. Roger Ebert called it “inspired and persuasive.”
Her supporting role in the musical Dreamgirls was also praised. “And Beyoncé, looking and sounding gorgeous, gets as far inside Deena as the underwritten role allows,” said Rolling Stone. Both Cadillac Records and Dreamgirls saw her playing aspiring performers similar to the character in A Star Is Born.
Beyoncé’s huge fan base plus her potential for this kind of material make her an obvious choice for the part that will boost Cooper’s chances for having a successful directorial debut. The actor is apparently going all the way with taking the dive behind the camera, as Deadline said he’s also looking to get on board the Robert de Niro-starring movie Honeymoon with Harry to both star in and direct. It seems Bradley Cooper is grooming himself to become the next major Hollywood Renaissance man with multiple hyphens before his name.
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