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The Real Reason Beyoncé Passed On A Script That Made $436 Million At The Box Office

TheThings 9/27/2022 Daniel Rugunya
© Provided by TheThings

Before Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s smash hit musical of 2018, the story of A Star is Born had been told a few times over the decades. The very first iteration was made in 1937, and focused on an actress hoping to make it in Hollywood and an actor whose star in the industry was starting to fade.

The first musical version of A Star is Born was made in 1954, with another following in 1976. Since then, there had constantly been a lingering interest in making a more modernized adaptation of the film.

That interest finally concretized into a plan when it was announced in January 2011 that Beyoncé had been signed up for the lead female role, with Clint Eastwood on board to direct. Bradley Cooper was also approached to star alongside her, but he originally turned down the opportunity.

RELATED: The Inside Story Of Bradley Cooper And Lady Gaga Behind The Making Of 'A Star Is Born'

Cooper would later reconsider, and he was joined by Gaga in the main role after Beyoncé dropped out of the project. He also directed the film, with Eastwood having decided against doing it as well.

The Producers Of A Star Is Born Felt They Had Struck Gold With Clint Eastwood And Beyoncé

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Besides her incredibly successful music career, Beyoncé has always maintained an interest in the film industry. Over the years, she has taken a breather from making hit songs to feature in various movie roles. Some of her most iconic performances on screen include in the films Dreamgirls, The Pink Panther and The Lion King.

The music giant was approached for a role in A Star is Born by producer Bill Gerber, one of the executives in charge of the film’s production. Gerber had already convinced Clint Eastwood to helm the project, having previously worked with him in Gran Torino in 2008.

Having those two bigwigs felt extremely monumental for the producer, and he didn’t envision another version of events where neither would be involved.

RELATED: Beyoncé's Insane Work Ethic, Explained

“I was so excited about it,” Gerber said during a Producer Roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. “I called Beyoncé's people, and she came out, she met with Clint, and I’m sitting there and I think I'm watching something historic about to happen. And then it didn't. It’s just the movie business.”

Why Did Beyoncé Drop Out Of The Lead Role In A Star Is Born?

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Bill Gerber was joined at the Producer Roundtable by fellow Hollywood execs Ceci Dempsey (The Favourite), Gabriela Rodriguez (Roma), Paul Greengrass (22 July), Nina Jacobson (Ben is Back, Crazy Rich Asians) and Marvel’s Kevin Feige. The conversation was moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Ford.

When asked about the reason why he lost both Beyoncé and Clint Eastwood for A Star is Born, Gerber said: “Time happened. Beyoncé got pregnant, and then Clint went off and did another movie.”

This would have been back in the very early days of plans for the production of the film. In August 2011, Beyoncé announced at the MTV Video Music Awards that she was pregnant, with her first born Blue Ivy being born around five months later in New York City.

RELATED: These Are The Songs Beyoncé Wrote For Her Children

Gerber did not reveal which movie Eastwood decided to go and direct instead of A Star is Born. However, between the time when those initial talks took place and the eventual release of the film in 2018, the Hollywood veteran directed movies like Sully, The 15:17 to Paris and American Sniper, also starring Bradley Cooper.

Bradley Cooper Only Wanted Lady Gaga For The Main Role In A Star Is Born

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When Clint Eastwood decided to move on to a different project, Bradley Cooper was approached to direct A Star is Born. He did not want to simultaneously star in the movie because he felt that he was too young for the lead male role. At the same time, this was going to be his directorial debut, and he wanted to focus on the one job.

Nevertheless, he struggled to find an actor or musician who could fit exactly what he wanted for that part, and he eventually caved and decided to do it himself. Opposite him, Lady Gaga was Cooper’s first choice, despite the fact that her acting experience was very limited until that point.

At the end of the day, it proved to be an inspired choice: Gaga was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, one of eight nominations the movie received that year. She did win the Oscar for Best Original Song, for the ballad Shallow, which she co-wrote with Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson.

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