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A Crowe is born? Gladiatorial one likely candidate for 'Star' remake

February 3, 2010 |  5:41 pm

With a new remake of "A Star Is Born" gaining momentum at Warner Bros., the studio could be closing in on, well, a star.

Russell Crowe has emerged as the front-runner to take the lead male role of an aging, alcoholic musician who mentors/is schooled by -- and then finds romance with -- a younger female star. While it's not believed there is a formal offer yet, the studio is very high on the 45-year-old actor, who in turn is said to be keen to take the role.

St The female part would likely be played by Beyonce, who has long been associated with the role and has recently elevated her interest in it.

The three previous iterations of "A Star Is Born" have alternated between settings in the film and the music worlds. The most recent one, the 1976 version from Warner Bros. that starred Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson as doomed pair Esther Hoffman and John Norman Howard, was set in the music world.

Nick Cassavetes has recently entered talks to direct the reboot of the drama, which has spent years in development with various writers (including "Ali's" Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson) taking a crack at it, before getting a new boost with a draft from young screenwriter Will Fetters. Jon Peters, Basel Iwanyk and Billy Gerber are producing. Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr. had been some of the names said to be considered by the studio before Crowe emerged as the front-runner.

If it comes off, a Crowe-Beyonce pairing would serve as one of the most prominent onscreen interracial romances since 1992’s “The Bodyguard,” which teamed Kevin Costner with the female singing sensation of the day, Whitney Houston.

A Crowe casting would also mark a return to the dramas of earlier in his career. The New Zealand-born actor has taken his career in the direction of high-end thrillers lately; starring in an international espionage thriller ("Body of Lies), domestic political thriller ("State of Play") and a jail-break thriller (the upcoming "The Next Three Days") -- something of a departure from awards bait such as "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Insider" that marked the earlier part of his career. He'll next be seen in Ridley Scott's interpretation of "Robin Hood.”

Crowe has also signed on with “Slumdog Millionaire” writer Simon Beaufoy and Maria Bello to produce a new HBO series, “Emergency Sex,” based on the true-life experiences of a trio of expatriate non-governmental workers overseas.

--Steven Zeitchik and Rachel Abramowitz

Photo: "A Star Is Born." Credit: Warner Bros.

Comments () | Archives (20)

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Russell Crowe can play anything, he's a remarkable actor. But the pairing with Beyonce is a bit odd. Sure, she's not bad in Dreamgirls, but I don't recall ever seeing her in drama flick before. What do you guys think?

Sorry, Judy Garland's version was the best, no need to remake it, Beyonce could not fill Garland's shoes AT ALL.

I like Russell Crowe, and I like Beyonce, but I don't know if this pairing will work. If they are indeed the chosen actors for the movie, I guess we'll find out if they have chemistry.

And I'm not having doubts because of the interracial pairing. Perhaps they should be even more "controversial" and have a black male lead, and a white female lead.

A Crowe/Beyonce pairing makes me think too much of the Bodyguard movie with Costner and Houston, and seems as calculated and artificial.

Crowe/Beyonce might fail on both sides, not sparking interest in either actor's fanbase.

Crowe is a terrific actor who elevates any film he's in, but Beyonce? In a heavy dramatic role? She may be the diva du jour, a fine voice and lovely to look at, but an actress she isn't.

I would rather see Taylor Swift in the part, isn't Beyonce a little old to play the part?

I see Shakira with Russell Crowe much better. She has real and passionate talent, and would look natural on the poster with Crowe ala Kristofferson and Streisand, even with the same frizzy hairdo.

I believe there are four "A Star is Born." A silent from the '20s, Janet Gaynor's from the '30s, the "definitive" one from 1954: Judy's, and Streisand's crappy one. I don't think we need a new one. It has now become a rehashed remake of "older man helping young woman." Been there, seen that. And I don't want a "new" GWTW or "The Wizard of Oz." Loved "Precious" and "Inglorious Bastards." Try "Crazy Heart." Even "The Blind Side." Though, this year, my fave is still Meryl Streep in "Julie and Julia." But, I like to cook.

Why not Halle Berry? Beyonce is not ready yet, she needs more time to learn the craft. Sad that writers of today can't come up with new ideas and not have to constantly borrow from Hollywood's past. I welcome interracial stories that are fresh and forward thinking and want to see where this goes.

Well, to me nothing will ever top the original 1937 version, but I think this re-make may be pretty interesting. Besides, I think we need more movies that feature interracial couples in romantic leads :)

Now that Colonel Parker is dead, maybe Elvis could be brought back and finally get the part that "he was destined " to play

I think a black female and white male is a much more controversial pairing than a black male and white female. I think it would be interesting, but I think Beyonce is a horrible actress. Hollywood needs to think beyond the their three go-to black actresses, because there's a lot of untapped talent out there.

How about Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston?

"With a new remake of "A Star Is Born" gaining momentum at Warner Bros. . . ."


'He'll next be seen in Ridley Scott's interpretation of "Robin Hood.”'


What's next, Miley Cyrus as Scarlett O'Hara? Hey, think before you scoff. It's Hollywood.

Not a bad idea. Beyonce's acting has improved,and wiil get better over time. And her with Crowe might just be a good match. Her accepting this role is much better than accepting roles like "Obsesed" were the only positive thing about the movie is how she looks,and the almost lesbian fight seen. Kodos to Beyonce.

Beyonce and Russell Crowe? Seriously?
Leave it alone - it has already been done three times.
This one has disaster written all over it.

Why are people suggesting Shakira or Halle Barry? Its supposed to be a "young" star paired with an "ageing" star. The 18 year-age difference between Crow and Knowles meets that. Shakira (who to my knowldege has never acted in a major Enlgish language role) is in her 30s and Halle Berry in her 40s.

As for suggesting Taylor Swift - egads, not only can she not sing as well as Beyonce, but she too has very limited acting experience.

Of course the studio wants marketability, so these sorts of suggestions need to be realistic - a woman under 30 who can both sing and act and who has proven box-office appeal. Outside of Beyonce there are few others I can think of. That does not mean she is PERFECT for the role, it just means WB is thinking pragmatically.

Sophie, a white male-black female pairing is more controversal? Don't make me laugh. If that's the case why is it in major Hollywood films such pairings are far more likley than ones with black men and white women as love interests? The numbers aren't even close. Try naming a major black actress who hasn't been paired in an interracial relationship involving a white male on screen. Actresses from Halle to Whoopi to Thandie to Rosario (to name a few) have had more onscreen pairings with white leading men than with black men. But when it comes to the reverse no black male actor has been paired mostly with white women on the big screen and certainly no white actress has been paired in movies more with black men than with white men.

I absolutely love R. Crow's acting and Beyonce's singing/performing. Russell is one of the best. Beyonce is fabulous on stage, her voice sells, she's pretty to look at, a perfectionist at her many crafts. I don't knock her for taking a stab at acting, when you can buy just about anything you want, have a pretty good career within entertainment industry and a HUGE appetite for perfection and exhibition like she does-it's natural for her to want more...for him a great role. For B, personally, I think it's just a matter of satisfying her ego. She did much, much better in her last movie. But I am not sure she can pull off a role of this magnitude as other people have commented...it's ironic how she can bring video's alive when performing and work choreography very well but it doesn't come out that well through her acting venue. Perhaps she will get better with time, as her other crafts had. I don't think I can 100% agree with some of her peers critic's telling her to basically "stay in her lane" because bonife female black actresses who have more talent don't get the opportunity. I do agree though somewhat- because us movie-goers are the ones that suffer through those awful and very obvious "sore thumbs" that stick out occasionally in Beyonce's speaking and acting performances-some call it Texas drawl and lack of experience but whatever the case-it just causes more critism of her and irritates movie-goers...and a film of this magnitude, they shouldn't cast her just yet. She needs more time to come into her "acting-self".

I think it would be a wonderful movie. B will rise up to the challenge and nail it and rusell will be wonderful as usuall. Oh i can't wait.

not even try someone who can sing like Criss Angel he would be perfect for the lead in the remake of the star is born and plleeaasseee not even beyonce she cant act worth nothing, Anne Hathaway would be awesome in the Barbra Streisand role but really no body sings it the way Barbra does


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