Following Lady Gaga’s…emotive performance of the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl halftime ceremony, Wesley Morris wrote in the New York Times of the star’s seeming transition from pop surrealist icon to master easy listening vocalist/aesthetician: “She’s cooing with Tony Bennett on his ‘Cheek to Cheek’ tour; she’s wearing stuff you’d find on Fanny Bryce. Her Gucci pantsuit could have been from…Liza Minelli’s closet. So, too, could the strength of her singing and chest thwaps. She’s given herself a coating of the geriatric, of respectability, of Vegas.”
Barbara Streisand could have easily been added to that list of comparisons — and if she couldn’t before, she certainly can now: it’s been officially confirmed that Lady Gaga will appear in Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut/remake of A Star Is Born, in the role of the titular star — whose name was Esther Blodgett in the 1937 version starring Janet Gaynor and the 1954 version starring Judy Garland, and Esther Hoffman in the 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand. (Yes, that does make this the third remake. Yeah, that’s where we are in the cycle of remakes now.)
Warner Brothers officially green-lit the film, and it’s going to go into production early next year, according to Deadline. Cooper will star with Gaga (if the story remains the same, it’ll be as the declining star opposite Gaga’s rising star character), and Gaga will be composing original music for the film.
Greg Silverman, Warner Brothers president of Creative Development and WW Production, said in a statement:
For those of us lucky enough to watch him work as an actor and producer, it has been clear that Bradley would make this transition to director. We are honored that he is doing it, here, at his home—Warner Bros.—and with Lady Gaga as a collaborator and co-star. The world is in for a treat as these great artists craft an all new vision of A Star is Born.
Interestingly, the crux of the aforementioned Wesley Morris piece was about how Gaga had taken on this new persona of comfortable anti-edginess while Beyoncé’s relevance and pioneering pop stardom had in contrast continued to rise following their collaboration on “Telephone.” And, if you recall, Cooper had originally, reportedly, been trying to get Beyoncé to star in his version of the film (following her potential involvement when the project was in Clint Eastwood’s hands); that clearly never came to fruition, and so, alas, in a series of events that oddly mirrors Morris’ commentary, the role in the film associated with the likes of standards-singing vocalists like Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland is going to Gaga.