Today as I was pondering what to write about, my fried Jess (for sure this time) dropped a suggestion:
What is a film that should be remade?
I immediately started sorting through all of the crazy ideas that have dropped in the time I’ve been running this site. There was that version of Bonnie & Clyde that was supposed to happen with Hilary Duff. Rose McGowan was supposed to get into Jane Fonda’s space-skirt for BARBARELLA. Heck, both Chris Rock and Mike Nichols were supposed to be working on versions of Kurosawa’s HIGH AND LOW.
At every turn, we have done what movie fans do – we have raised up our hands, cried foul, wondered what was ever wrong with the original.
However, in thinking about this question, my brain drifted towards the hype-fest we annually endure called The Super Bowl. The one played last weekend had that half-time show performed by Beyonce…and Miss B was herself supposed to star in a planned remake: A STAR IS BORN.
You remember don’t you? A year and a half ago the news came down that director (and subsequent empty-chair-conversationalist) Clint Eastwood wanted to remake the property, and that The Irreplaceable One had been cast as his leading lady. Trust me, you were up in arms about it.
Then, just four months ago, we learned that the tide had turned. Due to scheduling conflicts, Beyonce dropped out of the project. While I can’t seem to find any confirmation of Eastwood dropping out as well (presumably to resume telling people to get off his lawn), it stands to reason that the project is indefinitely on-hold.
But what if it’s a remake that is supposed to happen? Stay with me here…
A STAR IS BORN is a film that has already been made three times over. First by William Wellman in 1937 starring Janet Gaynor and Frederic March. That film was remade into a musical in 1954 by George Cukor with Judy Garland and James Mason taking over the leads. Finally, in 1976, Frank Pierson remade the film with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristoffersen. This version stripped out the musical element.
So for better or for worse, this is a story that Hollywood feels driven to revisit once a generation…and now we sit here overdue.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any rush to see Beyonce try to act again, and I’m in even less of a rush to see Clint try his hand at a movie musical. However, in the right hands, perhaps there’s something new that can come from A STAR IS BORN. The road to stardom has changed so drastically from where this story started – let alone where we left it. So too have the costs that come along with it. As if that wasn’t enough, the fall from fame seems even more vicious and public than it ever was.
Want to really make life imitate art? Take a lead from that original piece of casting and farm the cast of DREAMGIRLS – might it not be a bit interesting to see Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy in the main roles?
Perhaps that’s too on the nose, but I for one would drop the price of admission to find out.