Lady Gaga Follows in Footsteps of Judy and Barbra in “A Star Is Born” Remake

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:

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.


Afternoon Links: Alec Baldwin is Engaged, Aziz Ansari Mows Central Park Lawn

● Alec Baldwin and his yoga-instructing girlfriend Hilaria Thomas have gone and gotten engaged. As long as we can keep her as our yoga teacher, we are happy for them. [NYDN]

● Musical parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic is suing Sony Music Entertainment for the $5 million dollars he is allegedly owed for licensing revenue and lawsuit settlements. [RS]

● Curtains are being held on the Spice Girls inspired musical, Viva Forever, because the the girls — who are not in the show, but are serving as advisers — "can’t agree on anything.” [PageSix]

● Ever so gallant, Prince Harry dismounted his horse mid-match to help secure a fallen and unconscious polo player from the opposing team. Harry, "was the first one off his horse," according to the lucky felled player. "I remember waking up with these piercing blue eyes looking at me." Swoon! [Us]

● If Tom Cruise signs on the line, he’ll be playing "basically Kurt Cobain" in Clint Eastwood’s much anticipated A Star Is Born. According to screenwriter Will Fetters, Cruise’s character is modeled after Kurt Cobain, if only he "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." [Vulture]

● Aziz Ansari was nice enough to wake up early this morning and mow Central Park’s lovely Sheep Meadow ahead of its reopening later this week. [Gothamist]