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Will a Butler be born? Scottish star is up for iconic remake role

May 19, 2010 |  6:18 pm

EXCLUSIVE: There have been so many potential births on the "A Star Is Born" remake that it's starting to look like a nursery. Now a new bundle could be coming out of the delivery room: Gerard Butler.

The male lead in Warner Bros.' update of the classic rise-and-fall Hollywood tale was open for years as the project sat in development. There were rumors of Beyonce on the actress side, but no older, fading male singer for her to play against.

This winter, word surfaced that Russell Crowe was being considered for the part. But there's no offer, and it's very possible the "Robin Hood" actor won't do the role after all. So the studio is considering other options, and one of the names on its list is a juicy one -- Butler.

Butler's an interesting choice, not least because he's younger than Crowe and other potentials. In fact, at 40, he's only 12 years older than Beyonce. Though the actor hasn't been a critical favorite -- and there are those who will no doubt question whether he can fill the large shoes filled by Kris Kristofferson and James Mason (who were nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar, respectively) -- he does possess the power to bring women into the theater. Three otherwise middling movies of his -- "The Ugly Truth," "The Bounty Hunter" and "Law Abiding Citizen" -- all earned at least $65 million in the domestic box office, a tidy sum for films at a certain budget.

A Butler casting would also mark a creative reinvention for the actor, since he's known mostly for romantic comedies and action films, not down-on-his-luck dramas. Then again, the movie's theme is reinvention.

-- Steven Zeitchik, reporting from Cannes


Photo: Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston in "The Bounty Hunter." Credit: Columbia Pictures.

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Comments () | Archives (12)

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I think Butler could be brilliant in this role. Anyone who has seen his portrayal of Johnny Donne in The Jury will understand.

They have GOT to be kidding! Why on earth would they remake that film? It shouldn't have been remade with Barbra and it will definitely be ruined if Beyonce and Gerard Butler do it.

Hollywood needs to get some new ideas. If you don't have good screenplays, it's because you need to stop going to the same dry well. Hear that Hollywood?

You forgot to mention that Gerard Butler played the Phantom in the movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera so he is capable of doing musical roles. It will not be that big of stretch to that "creative reinvention" you mentioned. Even though I LOVE Beyonce, I actually think she will have the bigger challenge dramatically filling the shoes of Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand.

Please no! No remake and definitely not Gerard Butler in it. Let sleeping dogs lie! How about some new stuff!? Again, NO NO NO!

Gerard butler ,no I don't think so. Hollywood seems obsessed with Crowe's age,which is 46. Collectively there is no angst about CLOONEY,PENN,DEPP,PITT,CAGE OR CRUISE'S mid forties ages. All these guys are within one or two years of each other. But hey HOLLYWOOD has to be obsessing about something, right?

If ever there were a story/film that should NEVER be remade yet again it is "A Star is Born." It began as a drama called "What Price Hollywood?" in the early 30s starring Constance Bennett; then it was remade in the late 30s with the "A Star is Born" title starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March; then in the 50s came the famous and excellent Judy Garland/James Mason version; and then came the BAD Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson remake. When the news first emerged that Russell might actually be in consideration for yet another "ASIB" remake, I ran screaming into the night: "NO, NO, NO!" Thank God that it's Gerard B. now the one in the running for this thankless, totally unnecessary and unwanted project -- hey, nothing against the guy -- just about any actor is OK by me -- as long as it is NOT Russell !!! (Just to cover an important base, I'm going to contact RC's agent to implore him to be sure that ANY talk of "ASIB" and Russell on the same planet is dead, dead, DEAD!!

Did you forget that Gerard Butler played the Phantom in "Phantom of the Opera"? So of course he can do "A Star Is Born".

I can't wait until this columnist sees Mr. Butler in "Coriolanus". Then he'll rethink Mr. Butler's range in drama.

Gerard Butler would be perfect for the role in "A star is born". No one eles could do it and be perfect. He is the only one.Also,Mel Gibson,please hear me,redue the movie "the Egyptian" and star Gerard Butler as sinuhue.

I think Gerard is the perfect choice to play the original James Mason roll...But Beyounce is definetly NO JUDY GARLAND SUBSTITUTE. Please...Her and Gerard would be a flop...You need an actress that can sing, not a singer that cannot act.How about JLO?? Cute like Judy,good actor,great singer.

Gerry, you can play a fly on a wall and people will notice you. Stay away from remakes. They are a horrible trend guaranteed to have disastrous results. Stick to fresh, original material. You are a fine actor and you’ve already worked with some of the finest actresses (Dench, Foster, etc.). While I like Beyonce, I do not think she is a skilled enough actress for this role. Also, A Star is Born has already been remade by Streisand and it wasn’t very good – and I am a big fan of Streisand. Last, please don’t insult the moviegoers intelligence. We already know the whole story. So, I do not know what else is there to tell. Has Hollywood run out of fresh ideas?

Gerard Butler?? Freaking AWESOME!!!!xD


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