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Beyonce lands Clint Eastwood as 'A Star Is Born' director

January 20, 2011 |  5:45 pm

Beyonce-a-star-is-born Beyonce Knowles just got a major break in her longtime bid for an Oscar: Clint Eastwood has signed on to direct her in the Warner Bros. update of "A Star Is Born."

Eastwood's announcement more than solidifies the flick, which has seen several incarnations over the past year (or years) with various directors and male talent attached (Beyonce has long been the female lead in mind).

Last February a short list of names including Russell Crowe, Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr. were circulating to play opposite the pop sensation, as an alcoholic superstar in love with Knowles' budding singer. 

A current short list includes varied types like Will Smith, Eddie Murphy and Jon Hamm, according to Deadline Hollywood.

Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson brought the tale to life in 1976, earning permanent spots in pop culture for their efforts. Streisand won a Golden Globe for her acting performance and best original song but saw Oscar love only in the original song category.

Clint Eastwood will direct "A Star Is Born" Knowles, wife of rap mogul Jay-Z, has always been open about her Academy Award aspirations. In 2009, she told Self magazine that the thought of snatching that trophy motivated everything down to her fitness.

Referring to a painting of the Oscar that hangs above her treadmill, she said, "I look at it, and I'm like 'OK, I have to stay in shape.'"

It was 2006's "Dreamgirls" that gave Knowles her best critically received performance, yet her awards campaign stalled in the presence of Jennifer Hudson's breakout effort in the same film (Hudson won the Oscar for supporting actress).

But now Beyonce has another chance at bat — and under the direction of Eastwood, she could transcend her previous high-camp fare ("Obsessed") and pop-culture cakewalks ("Austin Powers in Goldmember"). Eastwood won directing Oscars for "Million Dollar Baby" and "Unforgiven" and was nominated in that category for "Mystic River" and "Letters From Iwo Jima."

Beyonce has certainly got the chops to play an ingenue and now has a master to help her create a memorable performance. Is this Beyonce's moment? Tell us in the comments section below.

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— Matt Donnelly
Twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photos, from top:  Beyonce Knowles in New York City on Nov. 22, 2010; a portrait of Clint Eastwood on Oct. 11, 2010. Credits, from top:  Michael Loccisano / Getty Images; Victoria Will / Associated Press.

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