Dreamgirl Beyoncé Knowles has apparently backed out of her commitment to reprise Barbara Streisand’s role in the upcoming remake of the 1976 musical A Star Is Born. According to Variety:
“Warner Bros. had no comment, but sources said her schedule was already packed and that without a set start date the scheduling became too complicated for the singer.”
The start date for the project has been held up by delays in locking in a male lead to star opposite Bey, a role originally played by Kris Kristofferson in the Streisand version. However I will just go ahead and say what everybody is doubtless thinking anyway: the controversial spoof of President Obama performed by the project’s director Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention last month may have made involvement in the project more complicated–politically as well as logistically–for Beyoncé, who along with husband Jay-Z has been an ardent and outspoken Obama supporter (and fundraiser).
Whatever the cause, Beyoncé’s departure creates a vacuum that many Hollywood insiders speculate may be filled by jazz prodigy and Okayplayer Esperanza Spalding, as Variety goes on to report:
Studio insiders said that with Knowles now off the project, there has been interest, at least from Eastwood’s end, in jazz musician Esperanza Spaulding (sic). Sources emphasized, though, that until the male lead is locked, no discussions or offers will be out to the female lead.
Prospective male leads that have been name-checked include (but are not limited to): Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp and, most recently, Bradley Cooper. That role is still unfilled for the moment, though–so stay tuned!
spotted at VRTY