POSTED March 12 2012

Clint Eastwood to Remake ‘A Star is Born’ with Cruise and Beyonce?

Tom Cruise and Beyonce Knowles

Cinderella + Pygmalion = A Star is Born. That was the calculus of David O. Selznick who produced What Price Hollywood? (with Constance Bennett as the waitress discovered and turned into an actress by filmmaker Lowell Sherman) and retooled it a few years later as A Star is Born (with Janet Gaynor as the aspiring actress whose star rises as that of her discoverer, Fredric March, falls.) This fusion of two enduring myths, that of the nobody who becomes a somebody and that of the artist who falls in love with his creation, is itself one of Hollywood’s most enduring scenarios. It inspired two remakes, the 1954 A Star is Born with Judy Garland and James Mason and the 1976 pop-musical version with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofersson. And a third remake is gestating.

Clint Eastwood wants to direct it with Beyonce as the new discovery.  According to reports Warner Brothers has feelers out to Tom Cruise to play the Pygmalion role. If it comes to fruition, I hope it has the energy and humor of What Price Hollywood? and the emotion of the Garland/Mason iteration and avoids the syrup of the Gaynor/March version. The Gaynor version was reportedly sweetened during pre-production when producer David O. Selznick, stunned by the recent death of his friend Irving Thalberg, recast the comic figure of the producer in the film (Adolphe Menjou) into a dignified presence.

Other films have the rising-star/falling-star template of A Star is Born. Think of Up Close and Personal with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer (which has a screenplay by John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion, who wrote the 1976 version of ASIB). Two of my favorite Fred Astaire films, Easter Parade and The Bandwagon, are about his hitching his falling star to rising newcomers Judy Garland and Cyd Charisse. Other films made from the ASIB template? Thoughts about the Beyonce-Cruise chemistry? Surely Eastwood, who played Pygmalion to Sondra Locke and knows Hollywood folkways more intimately than almost anyone, can bring his own experiences to this story.



  1. Debbie R says:

    I wouldn’t see anything with Tom Cruise, so that kind of wipes out the chemistry question…

  2. Gary says:

    THE ARTIST, that Best Picture winning silent film is the most recent STAR IS BORN remake. Talk about enduring appeal!

  3. Catherine Wyler says:

    Here’s a bit of trivia: my mother, Margaret Tallichet, was an extra in the original STAR IS BORN, and managed to sneak in an unscripted “Me, too!” to enhance her part.


    • Marilyn Ann Moss says:

      Here’s a bit of trivia that concerns your father. I have a Mini Cooper with the license plate that abbreviates MRS. MINIVER. The other night a man walked over to my car while I was parked at Ralph’s Supermarket in Hollywood…he asked me why I have that plate. It turned out to be Rick Dufay, whose father was Richard Ney, who played the son in MRS. MINIVER. Rick used to play with ARROWSMITH… A real Hollywood moment…I almost contacted you a few years ago while contemplating a bio of your father…I wrote one on Raoul Walsh in the interim…but William Wyler still looms large in my mind!

  4. Carrie Rickey says:

    @Catherine: Next time I watch it, I’ll watch for your mother. Describe the scene?

  5. Horse Badorties says:

    Maybe we’ll see Cruise walk into the sea ala Mason in the 50s version..that might be worth 11 bucks..

  6. Nancy Colman says:

    Re: Gary and THE ARTIST, with which I concur…before there was TA, there was SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, albeit with the difference that Gene Kelly doesn’t have to defer to his Galatea, Debbie Reynolds, he just has to adapt and keep up with her; as well as other stories such as MY FAIR LADY, PRETTY WOMAN (gag) and DREAMGIRLS that riff on the Pygmalion theme. Even CITIZEN KANE borrows elements of this eternal tale. For a real twist, how about viewing THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK as a sort of gender-bending take on the theme? A case of too many cooks spoiling the stew?

  7. Joe says:

    I’ll pass. Is it blasphemous to say that I thoroughly dislike the Garland version? Streisand’s is even worse. I suppose I just have trouble with the source material. Except for “Vertigo,” I dislike films in which know-it-all men try to redesign a woman.

  8. Marilyn Ann Moss says:

    Whoops….Aerosmith. That dates me for sure!

  9. chris schneider says:

    “I hope it has the energy and humor of *What Price Hollywood* […]”

    Somehow, energy and humor are not qualities that I associate with Clint Eastwood, Director.

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