Twenty-one months after it was first reported that Beyonce Knowles would partner with director Clint Eastwood to remake “A Star Is Born,” the actress-singer-icon has dropped out of the film. According to Variety, Knowles was too busy to make the scheduling work — not that “A Star Is Born” even had a start date.
Since being announced by Deadline.com’s Nikki Finke, the project has gone through a number of fits and starts, from being delayed due to Beyonce’s pregnancy to an inability to cast a leading man. Actors from Russell Crowe to Christian Bale to Leonardo DiCaprio to Tom Cruise to Bradley Cooper were mentioned as possible leads at one point, with even the likes of Will Smith, Jon Hamm and Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z floated as well.
Produced three times previously, most recently in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson in the leading roles, “A Star Is Born” tells the story of a rising young singer and the fading rock star who launches her career. (The 1937 version of “A Star Is Born” focused on a young actress, but the plot basically remained the same; 2011 Best Picture winner “The Artist” also borrowed heavily from the structure of “A Star Is Born,” but was not a remake.)
Written by Will Fetters, the male character in Eastwood’s version of “A Star Is Born” was at least partially inspired by Kurt Cobain.
“That was like my Kennedy assassination when I was a teenager,”Fetters said about Cobain’s death. “When he died it was a huge horrible thing. So [as] I approached ‘A Star is Born,’ for me, the framework was ‘All right, if Kurt Cobain never got to go Unplugged and survived and it’s 20 years later and it’s now, and he wanted to try to do that album with that understanding as this grunge icon. That’d be tough to get done if he was past his prime, no longer selling, how does he get that album?'”
The better question might be: How does he get that movie? Eastwood — last seen in the middling film “Trouble With the Curve” — is still apparently keen to make “A Star Is Born,” but with no actor, actress or start date, it could be a while.
For more on “A Star Is Born,” including the singer Eastwood might want to hire in lieu of Beyonce, head over to Variety.