Possibly the best movie-related news in the world of Dorothy Parker came down this week. According to the New York Daily News, Bradley Cooper is behind a remake of A Star Is Born, and his Vicki Lester will be Lady Gaga to his Norman Maine.
The 1937 classic screenplay was co-created by Dorothy Parker, her screenwriter-husband Alan Campbell, and Robert Carson. This team was nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay, but lost to The Life of Emile Zola. The original story was by Carson and director William A. Wellman, and it did win an Oscar. The film has been remade twice: in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason in the titular roles, followed in 1976 by Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
Parker claimed she never watched the movie, or any of her other 30-plus films, for that matter. In the 1930s and 1940s she and Campbell were a popular screenwriting team. While separated, she earned a second Oscar nomination, for the 1947 drama Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman, starring Susan Hayward and directed by Daniel Mann.
A Star Is Born has had a few false starts over the last dozen years. In 2002 director Joel Schumacher was to make it a hip-hop version with Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez (or Alicia Keys). It never made it to the launching pad, even though Smith said, “What I like about Jennifer is that you could go Latin. The music and the environment could be the Latin world, which would be different from all of the other [versions].”
That would have been interesting. But the project that was longest in gestation was to be helmed by Clint Eastwood and starring Beyoncé as the ingénue. Announced in 2011, that movie was kicked around for years, and now it looks like Bradley Cooper is making it for Warner Brothers.
It was also confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter that Gaga was onboard, which said “The singer is in talks to star opposite Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born, the remake that Cooper also will direct…Reports of Gaga’s involvement first surfaced when the singer was caught by paparazzi on a motorcycle ride with Cooper. Gaga tested for the studio, impressing the execs. Warners had no comment.”
This will be Cooper’s directorial debut. He starred in and produced American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. With Gaga onboard, that will be an amazing soundtrack. She also has at least two things in common with Dorothy Parker: Both grew up on the Upper West Side, and both went to Catholic school.