In the aftermath of last year’s holiday dud The Guilt Trip, it’s difficult imagining a time when Barbra Streisand’s name was synonymous with major box office. But during the late ‘60s and ‘70s, Streisand starred in a string of massive movie hits, including Funny Girl, What’s Up, Doc? and A Star Is Born, all three of which would be considered the equivalents of a modern-day, $300 million-plus grosser after adjusting their ticket sales for inflation. (Quick, name the last time a female-starring romantic comedy or drama earned anything close to that amount, Mses. Bullock, McAdams and Witherspoon). Of course, we all know money doesn’t equal quality and, taken out of the context of its ‘70s-era success, A Star Is Born certainly stands as proof that yesterday’s milky-smooth hit can be today’s cheese-crumbled miss. Hit the jump for our review of A Star Is Born on Blu-ray.
This week on Blu-ray another Disney classic is released from the vault, an Oscar contender hits home video, and an in-depth look at the film vs. digital debate comes to HD. Briefly:
Hit the jump for special features details.
Trouble with the Curve is one of those classic Hollywood movies that will make you laugh, cry and warm your heart. The drama tells the story of Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood), one of the best scouts in baseball for decades, but whose age is finally catching up with him. With an associate director of scouting (Matthew Lillard) chomping at the bit to replace him, in favor of computer predictions of players, his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) joins him on his latest scouting trip, in order to help him save his career, but quickly realizes that they may never be able to mend their strained relationship.
At a press conference to promote the film’s September 21st release, Clint Eastwood (who is also one of the producers), Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake (who plays rival scout Johnny Flanagan) talked about the pros and cons of aging, working with Eastwood’s longtime producing partner Robert Lorenz on his directorial debut, what they learned about baseball scouts, the interesting triangle that connects their characters, and their impressions of each other. Eastwood also talked about the reaction to his recent speech at the Republican National Convention and the status of A Star is Born, while Adams talked about what it was like to be a part of The Master, and Timberlake revealed the perks of golfing with the film icon and said that he’d like to return to music again, at some point. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
In addition to acting and directing, Clint Eastwood is quite an avid music lover. He’s composed the score to a number of his films and was even awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music. As such, it came as no surprise when it was announced that Eastwood was planning a remake of A Star Is Born with Beyonce Knowles set to star as a burgeoning young artist. Production was pushed back due to the star’s pregnancy, but now that Blue Ivy is alive and well, Eastwood is working on casting his male lead.
Our correspondent Sheila Roberts got to speak with A Star Is Born screenwriter Will Fetters during a roundtable interview at the press day for the romantic drama The Lucky One, and the scribe took some time to talk about his approach to the remake—including a heavy inspiration from Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain—and the casting of the male lead. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Clint Eastwood is gearing up to dip his toe back into the acting game with the upcoming drama Trouble with the Curve, but the director is still pulling things together for his adaptation of A Star Is Born. Production was pushed back when star Beyoncé Knowles became pregnant, then Leonardo DiCaprio—Eastwood’s first choice for the project—passed. Alternates for the male lead were rumored to be Christian Bale and Will Smith, but Variety now reports that Warner Bros. is courting Tom Cruise to take the part. Hit the jump for more.
Last night at the VMAs, Beyoncé Knowles announced that she was pregnant because a trashy farce of an awards ceremony is the proper forum for announcing such personal news (I guess it’s better than a tabloid). Knowles was set to star in Clint Eastwood’s remake of A Star Is Born and her pregnancy is a double-edged sword for the production. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. will likely push back the February 2012 start date, and I’m not sure how that will sit with Eastwood considering the grizzled legend has been bent on delivering a new movie every year. However, the delay also gives the studio more time to find a new leading man since Leonardo DiCaprio, Eastwood’s top choice for the male lead, has passed on the project. Other names being floated for the role include Christian Bale, Will Smith, and I’m sure other high-profile actors are being considered.
For those unfamiliar with A Star Is Born, the story concerns a movie star whose career is on the decline. He helps a young showgirl ascend to stardom but tensions grow between them as her star rises while he descends further into obscurity. The 1954 version starring Judy Garland and James Mason picked up six Oscar nominations.
Coming off an Oscar win for The Fighter and currently shooting one of the biggest films of 2012, Christian Bale has a wide variety of projects to choose from as his follow-up to The Dark Knight Rises. His third (and supposedly final) Batman film wraps shooting this fall and he’s eyeing various high-profile projects as his follow up. Variety reports that he’s considering Clint Eastwood’s remake of A Star Is Born starring Beyonce Knowles, Michael Mann’s Gold, the villain role in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, and Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. Bale was supposedly set for Zack Snyder’s The Last Photograph but he is no longer involved with that project. Variety also doesn’t mention the untitled Terrence Malick film Bale reportedly signed on to last week.
According to Variety, Bale won’t make his decision until The Dark Knight Rises wraps shooting in November nor is he necessarily the front-runner for any of these movies. It’s also worth noting that all these roles play to Bale’s dramatic side even though he gave audiences a glimpse at his ability to go beyond grim-and-gritty in The Fighter, and it’s easier to get excited about him signing onto a film after that great performance.
I’m sure plenty of filmmakers want Leonardo DiCaprio to star in their film. That said, there aren’t many working directors who have the type of clout that Clint Eastwood carries around. So, although it is anything but a done deal, when we hear that Eastwood is courting DiCaprio for his take on the musical A Star Is Born, it becomes news. Deadline reports that the director is using his time with DiCaprio on their J. Edgar Hoover biopic to discuss the possibility of him joining the pic which is set up at Warner Bros.
There has long been talk that Will Smith would join Beyoncé in the film as the aging alcoholic star who sparks a relationship with the up-and-coming beauty. While those rumors are free to continue circulating, Eastwood’s apparent interest in DiCaprio may very well steal some of its thunder for the time being. There have been several theatrical versions of A Star Is Born to grace the silver screen with the 1976 version pairing Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand and 1954′s starring James Mason and Judy Garland. Will Fetters (Remember Me) wrote the script for the upcoming remake.
Earlier today at CinemaCon, Warner Bros. held a panel with president Jeff Robinov during which he discussed some of the studio’s upcoming projects. In addition to reiterating the studio’s enthusiasm for projects such as The Hobbit, Dark Shadows, and the Clint Eastwood/Beyonce team-up that is A Star Is Born, Robinov also mentioned much anticipated projects such as The Great Gatsby (starring Leonardo DiCaprio), Mad Max: Fury Road, and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity (starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock).
While there have been some questions regarding the status of both George Miller‘s Mad Max installment and Gravity, any time the head of a studio discusses projects as being in the studio’s short-term forecast, you can be sure the wheels are turning on said films. Steve will have a lot more on the WB panel and what was shown, but for now, consider these projects on the immediate horizon.
Clint Eastwood and Beyonce will join forces in the latest iteration of the musical A Star is Born for Warner Brothers. With Beyonce starring and Eastwood both producing and directing Will Fetters’ (Remember Me) script, the film will mark the fourth time A Star is Born has graced the silver screen in the United States. The most recent version was released in 1976. That film starred Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand and earned Streisand and lyricist Paul Williams an Oscar for best original song.
For those unfamiliar with the material, A Star is Born tells of a romantic relationship between an alcoholic star on his way out and a young female artist on the rise (in this most recent case, Beyonce). There is no word on who might fill the coveted role of “aging alcoholic star,” however, Deadline poses that Warner Bros. might have hopes of pairing Beyonce with human-summer-blockbuster Will Smith. A Star is Born is currently aiming to begin shooting this fall.
With director Ben Affleck’s The Town premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, I got to sit down with the producer Basil Iwanyk to talk about making The Town and his other projects like Clash of the Titans 2, the remake of A Star is Born, The Seventh Son (with director Sergey Bodrov), and he even gave me an update on The Expendables 2 because he just spoke with Avi Lerner.
The big news about A Star is Born is he thinks in the next 6 to 8 weeks the film might be coming together and they’re aiming to shoot in the first 4 or 5 months of next year. He also tells me that he’s incredibly happy with the script for Clash of the Titans 2 and that it takes place 5 or 6 years after the first film and it’ll be more realistic – including the depiction of the monsters. He also reveals Gemma Arterton will be back.
Finally, for people who thought the first Clash of the Titans had some problems…Iwanyk is extremely candid about his thoughts on the first film and why it didn’t completely work. He also reveals why we’ll never see the full set of deleted scenes. So much more after the jump:
Judy Garland, every once in a while, could deliver a great performance. It seems now she’s better known for her personal problems, The Wizard of Oz, and her adoring fanbase. But in A Star is Born she gives one of her best performances in what appears to be a mirror of her own life. Garland plays Esther Blodgett, a singer with great pipes discovered by Norman Maine (James Mason). The two fall in love, but he’s a boozy mess and as she finally achieves stardom he recedes from the spotlight. My review of the gorgeous Blu-ray of A Star is Born follows after the jump.
There are already three versions of A Star Is Born scattered throughout film history, but since over thirty years have passed since the last, it’s time for a new one. Russell Crowe was being considered for the male lead, but no offer has been made and the Robin Hood star may move on to other projects before one can be extended. LA Times reports that Warner Bros. has a list of names they fancy for the role, and near the top is Scottish hunk Gerard Butler. It would be new territory for Butler, who is known for action films like 300 and romantic comedies like The Bounty Hunter rather than more dramatic fare.
The female lead has not been chosen either, but Beyonce has been rumored for the part. She would play an aspiring actress, while Butler would play an aging movie star who helps launch her career. Check out the full plot synopsis after the jump.