Friday, January 21, 2011

Why did it take so long for this star to be born?

There was only a 17-year gap - 1937 to 1954 - between the Janet Gaynor/Fredric March A Star is Born and the version starring Judy Garland and James Mason. Only 22 years later, we got the Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson version. Although to me it seems like yesterday, that one was 35 years ago now, so I guess yesterday's announcement that Clint Eastwood will direct version Numero Four of this tired tale, this one starring Beyonce (no word yet on who will play her Norman), should come under the heading "It's about time." But, then again ....

One can only hope Eastwood will put an entirely different spin on the picture (in an act of supreme defiance, a drunken Esther drowns while trying to swim the English channel; Norman, while drying out at a rehab clinic, realizes he's gay and escapes with the man of his dreams; when it is discovered Esther has absolutely no acting abilities, she's forced to make porn films directed by Norman; the characters are not named Norman and Esther at all, but Ozzie and Harriet). Of course, the chances of anything like this happening are slim. It's far more likely that the film will end with Beyonce (pictured above) declaring "I'm Mrs. Norman Maine."

Then, again, Eastwood could cast Robin Williams in the March/Mason/Kristofferson role which would mean all bets would be off. But that's the anarchist in me coming out again and anarchists, unfortunately, are not running the studios these days.

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