In the vast landscape of Hollywood movie releases, one trend continues to persist: remakes, reboots and re-imaginings. It can be tiresome as an audience to revisit a story we've seen before, but are oftentimes already invested in, leading us to buy a ticket and sometimes find ourselves watching a rehash of what we've seen before. That said, there's something unique about Bradley Cooper's remake of A Star is Born, probably because his intentions weren't to offer up nostalgia for the prior films with the same title. As Cooper explained:
There were a lot of things I knew I wanted to examine like trauma as a child, family, a love story and I wanted it to be with music. So that's how it happened, it was about having something I wanted to say and investigate and (realizing) 'oh wow, that's already a property that Warner Bros owns, let me write it.'
A remake for A Star is Born was in the works for quite some time, with Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio and Beyoncé attached years ago before it hit some bumps in the road. Three years ago, Bradley Cooper took the reins, making it his first project serving as writer, director and lead. He was already looking for a project to take under his wing and the specific remake had the ingredients he was looking for to call his own.
In the interview with BBC Radio 1, Bradley Cooper explained his longtime desire to direct a movie since he was a kid. His past opportunities with masterful directors including Clint Eastwood, Todd Phillips and J.J. Abrams deepened his aspirations and guided him to A Star is Born. Cooper also noted his frequent collaborator David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and Joy) as an essential inspiration. Cooper continued to explain why remaking A Star is Born the fourth time was of interest to him:
To me at least, those two characters don't resemble the two characters in the other movies, really for me, at all.
Each A Star is Born movie has taken place in another era, with completely different talents at center stage. Before Lady Gaga took on the role of the titular star, Barbara Streisand played the lead 42 years prior. Before them, Judy Garland took on the role in 1954, and before that, Janet Gaynor played in the original 1937 movie. It's an age-old Hollywood tale, but each movie has been far enough from the other for the audience to feel like it's a rehashing of a classic.
Remakes can oftentimes be tiresome projects for audiences to revisit, but when taken on with the right intentions to bring something new or make them completely unrecognizable from prior releases, they can turn into something both special and marketable to a new audience. Bradley Cooper gets it! A Star is Born is in theaters now.