A remake that’s been in the works for years is finally moving forward.
As was covered on this blog in 2011, Clint Eastwood was at the time in talks to direct Beyoncé in a third remake of the 1937 film “A Star Is Born”; however, the project was delayed due to Beyoncé’s pregnancy. Leading men who were sought to star included Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, and Christian Bale, but none of them would be cast. A year later, Beyoncé left the project, and Bradley Cooper would enter the picture right around the same time, initially in talks to star, with Clint Eastwood (still attached to direct) interested in Esperanza Spalding to play the female lead role. The project would seemingly stall for another 3 years when in 2015, we learned that Eastwood was no longer involved, and Warner Bros. announced that Bradley Cooper was not only going to star in the film, but he would also direct, making his directorial debut. And around the same time, Beyoncé was said to be in talks to rejoin the film, and star opposite Cooper, but that never happened. And about a year later, Lady Gaga (who is using her real name, Stefani Germanotta, for the film) became officially attached to the project which was then green-lit by the studio for production to begin in early 2017.
Since then, a number of other actors have joined the cast, including Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Rafi Gavron, Michael Harney and Rebecca Field.
Finally, skip ahead to this afternoon to news, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, that Dave Chappelle has also now joined the cast of the Warner Bros.’ remake of “A Star is Born,” and will play a character named Noodles, who is described as Cooper’s character’s “oldest friend with whom he started out playing in blues clubs.” The character doesn’t exist in the original film.
This is certainly an interesting project choice for Chappelle to make – one that I definitely didn’t see coming. He’s not known for his dramatic acting chops; he most recently appeared in a single though memorable and hilarious scene, in Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” a couple of years ago. Before that, he had roles in “Undercover Brother,” “Half Baked,” “The Nutty Professor,” and other comedies/comedy-dramas. But it definitely doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the ability to be a dramatic actor. We’ve all heard the saying about comedians giving *surprisingly* strong dramatic performances. Of course, we’re assuming that Noodles won’t simply be comedy relief as a break from all the drama and romance.
Jon Peters, Bill Gerber and Basil Iwanyk are producing the film alongside Cooper.
It is one of three remakes of the original 1937 version, with the first released in 1954 starring Judy Garland & James Mason, and the second released in 1976 starring Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson.
Warner Bros. has dated this one for a Sept. 28, 2018, release.