When 2018’s A Star is Born hit the big screens and became one of the best movies of that year, you could feel the culture shift. People were suddenly obsessed with Bradley Cooper’s rough-bearded rock star, Lady Gaga’s acting chops, and you absolutely couldn’t walk five steps without hearing Shallow being belted out over the airways. (And who could forget the screen-shattering chemistry between the two stars in that Oscars performance?)
Of course, the film has a long legacy in the industry, having been revisited many times over. Starting with the 1937 drama movie starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, to the 1954 musical with a memorable performance from Judy Garland, on to the 1976 rock drama with Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and landing on the slick 2018 modern adaptation, A Star is Born has been reborn numerous times.
But, although Streisand gave her blessing to Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, it sounds as though she had a couple of other stars in mind for the leading roles in the newest version of the classic rise-to-fame tale.
On an episode of The Sunday Project, Streisand revealed that two other megastars were initially tied to the project; ones who she felt might have added a little more zing to the new telling.
“At first, when I heard it was going to be done again, it was supposed to be Will Smith and Beyoncé, and I thought, that’s interesting. Really make it different again, different kind of music, integrated actors, I thought that was a great idea,” she says. “So, I was surprised when I saw how alike it was to the version that I did in 1976.”
She would later add that she thought the 2018 remake was “the wrong idea”, and though she acknowledged the unprecedented success of the Cooper-Gaga venture, she finished the conversation by adding: “I don’t care so much about success as I do originality.” Ouch.
Well, we can see why she thought Beyoncé and Will Smith might have made for a dynamic pairing, though we still have a soft spot in our hearts for the 2018 version we ended up getting. The impactful drama combined with rom-com elements made for a memorable film, and if the numerous awards nominations and overwhelming audience reception proved anything, it was that others thought so too.