Clint Eastwood’s musical ambitions date back all the back to his college days, when
he intended to major in music theory. The screen icon starred in the 1969 musical Paint Your Wagon and scored a handful of his previous directorial efforts, so it’s not all too surprising that he is set to at last helm a musical himself – namely, A Star Is Born.
A fourth big screen version of this rhythmic tale about an ingénue with musical aspirations and the man she falls in love with – a boozing superstar on the decline – has been in the works for a while and looks to bring together the unexpected pairing of Eastwood at the helm and pop sensation-turned actress Beyoncé Knowles in the lead.
Beyoncé will follow in the footsteps of actresses Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, and Barbra Streisand to play Esther Blodgett (or Hoffman, in the ’76 version) in Eastwood’s A Star Is Born. Deadline says that the male lead is up for grabs and makes some decent suggestions to play the alcoholic has-been, including Sean Combs, a.k.a. P. Diddy (Get Him To The Greek) and Miss Knowles’ Dreamgirls costar, Eddie Murphy (insert joke about Murphy attempting to drink away the memory of films like Norbit and The Adventures of Pluto Nash).
In addition to his aforementioned dabblings in cinema music, Eastwood has both played an aspiring musician before in 1982’s Honkytonk Man and directed the Charlie Parker biopic Bird back in 1988. The 80-year-old movie legend even crooned out the opening lines of “Gran Torino” over the end credits of his 2008 film. Chances are good that The Man will leave the singing to Beyoncé and her male cohort this time around, though.
Eastwood is in the midst of pre-production on his Hoover biopic, J. Edgar, which begins filming next month. A Star Is Born is tentatively scheduled to begin shooting this fall as a low-budget production under the Oscar-winner’s steady and efficient directing hand. Say what you will about the project or Eastwood’s decision to collaborate with Beyoncé, it’s impossible not to admire the auteur’s work ethic and willingness to tackle a musical genre pic like this.