By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 20, 2011 at 11:49AM
Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Hamm, Rihanna and Alicia Keys have all been linked at various points recently, but now the director and star for the long gestating "A Star Is Born" have been revealed and it's a surprising pairing.
Deadline reports that Clint Eastwood and Beyoncé will team as director and star for the musical "A Star Is Born." Beyoncé was first attached to the film in February of last year with Russell Crowe to star opposite and Nick Cassavetes to direct. While the director's chair has been given a major upgrade, there's no word yet on the possible male lead, though with both Eastwood and Beyoncé now confirmed you can bet every leading man in Hollywood is going to come knocking.
The familiar story about a wide-eyed girl dreaming of stardom who finds a helping hand from a washed out, alcoholic older leading man was first made as a drama by William Wellman in 1937, but truly became legendary when it became a musical in 1954 starring Judy Garland and directed by George Cukor. In 1976, Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson tried to repeat that success but were met with dismal results. THR reveals that the updated version will take place in the music world with a young singer falling for an older rock star.
While the star power is practically blinding us, we're gonna hold our optimism for now. Will Fetters, who wrote the manipulative love story "Remember Me" and penned the upcoming Nicholas Sparks tearjerker "The Lucky One," has written the screenplay, while Billy Gerber and Jon Peters are on board as producers, giving the material a second shot as they also were involved with the Streisand/Kristofferson version. Eastwood is looking to move fast on this one, with an eye to start shooting in the fall. In case you forgot, the man is starting to direct "J. Edgar" next month and he's now giving Woody Allen a run for his money in terms of productivity. Unbelievable.
While many will undoubtedly wonder what Eastwood is doing directing a musical, as we've said before, it's a holy grail genre for directors. It's a huge challenge requiring technical skill as well as ability to deftly handle a huge canyon of emotions; it's a very tricky balancing act. And as Eastwood is a huge music (well, jazz) fan, we're sort of surprised he had never tried a full-on musical sooner. But the time has arrived and it's pretty exciting to see Eastwood jump into a musical, a totally new genre for the helmer, late in his career. We're intrigued.