Warner Bros. is moving forward on its long-proposed remake of George Cukor’s A Star Is Born, with Beyoncé playing the struggling ingénue who just can’t seem to catch a break even though she looks like Beyoncé. And while this sounds like a job tailor-made for a Bill Condon or Baz Luhrmann, the studio’s frontrunner is reportedly Clint Eastwood, who’s dealt with this sort of musical melodrama before in Bird. Of course, A Star Is Born is very much the matryoshka doll of remakes: Cukor’s Judy Garland-starring version is itself a song-and-dance version of the 1937 drama starring Janet Gaynor, and Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson made the most successful iteration of A Star Is Born to date in 1976. (We look forward to a fresh bouquet of passive-aggressive Barbra Streisand quotes should this new version get greenlit.) And naturally talk of another remake begins anew with every generation of female pop stars—like the early-’90s rumors that Whitney Houston might star alongside Eddie Murphy or Wesley Snipes as the washed-up matinee idol who plays Svengali to her career.
While Snipes is no doubt regaling the exercise yard with how he plans to draw from real-life Marvin Gaye anecdotes in his approach to the character—it’s something he just needs to discuss with Whitney as soon as he gets out—the producers of this new film say they have yet to settle on a male lead. However, Deadline’s Nikki Finke reports that Will Smith has long been in the running, while also suggesting Eddie Murphy should be as well, alongside other contenders like “P Diddy,” Jon Hamm, and Robert Downey Jr. She also asks what about Jay-Z, which would be the second business decision seemingly based entirely on a Jay-Z song in the last 24 hours. (Either way, is there any chance Jay-Z's "A Star Is Born" won't make it on the soundtrack?) Naturally, some people are already expressing skepticism that Eastwood, though a jazz aficionado known for composing the scores for his films, can do a full-blown musical. These people have not seen Paint Your Wagon. (Or maybe they have?)