Illustration by Hilton Dresden
Are we ready to see Lady Gaga as Esther Blodgett, the iconic aspiring singer of A Star Is Born, a role made famous first by Judy Garland in 1954, and then again by Barbra Streisand in a 1976? Both those movies reflected the times in which they were made, although Streisand’s version is generally viewed as a turkey. “Miss Streisand was distractingly miscast in the role, and yet I forgave her everything when she sang,” wrote Roger Ebert at the time.
At least Streisand’s co-star was a genuine musician, the bearded, floppy-fringed Kris Kristofferson. Gaga gets to play Bradley Cooper, who is great and all that. But can he sing?
Warner Brothers and Cooper inked a deal in 2015, after Clint Eastwood, originally slated to direct, and Beyonce, originally set to star, dropped the project. The official announcement of Gaga’s casting came last night, and Mother Monster herself posted an exuberant tweet about the news:
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 17, 2016
In addition to her starring role, Gaga will compose and perform several new songs in this fourth iteration of the film. Originally released in 1937, A Star is Born starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, before being remade into the classic 1954 movie with Garland and James Mason.
Cooper will also help draft a new script for the film, set to begin production in early 2017, with the help of screenwriter Will Fetters, who wrote The Best of Me andThe Lucky One.