Nick Cassavetes is in early talks with Warner Bros to direct an updated version of A Star Is Born, the well-worn story of a love affair between an alcoholic star on the way down, and a young artist on the rise. The emergence of Cassavetes is interesting, in that last year he sued WB’s sister studio, New Line, after being removed from its film Elephant Orphanage. Cassavetes made numerous films for New Line over the years, including recently My Sister’s Keeper.
Cassavetes could bring his usual edge and grit to the familiar premise. Three A Star Is Born versions have been made since the 1930s, the last one coming in 1976 with Kris Kristofferson playing the boozy singer and Barbra Streisand the ingenue. (Or even 4 if you consider What Price Hollywood (1932) made by George Cukor and is often forgotten since the film was remade successfully so many times.) The project has been at WB for several years, originally in hopes of pairing Beyonce and Will Smith. Cassavetes sparked to a draft by Will Fetters, a hot writer at the studio. Though she’s made no commitment, Beyonce is still on the wish list, I’m told, with Alicia Keyes and Rihanna also mentioned as possibles. On the male side of the coin, names making the rounds include Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Hamm.
Cassavetes would do the picture after he completes an indie he’s casting: Yellow, which he wrote with wife Heather Wahlquist, a co-star of his film Alpha Dog. She plays a young woman whose drug habit isn’t the worst of her problems.