Bradley Cooper the Auteur: Will a New Star Be Born?


This is a big year for Palisadian and multi-Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper.
The trailer for his debut film as a director, “A Star is Born,” was released into the world and met with great excitement.

Not only does Cooper helm the project, he stars in it as a shaggy-haired, bearded struggling actor trying to help a struggling singer move forward in her career.

If the story sounds familiar to you, that’s because it is. The film is a remake of the 1937 picture “A Star is Born.” (In fact, the same story has been adapted numerous times, most notably with Judy Garland in 1954 and Barbra Streisand in 1976.)

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

The singer in Cooper’s version is played by real life vocal powerhouse Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, though she chose to be credited with her stage name in the film. Having shed her elaborate fashion ensembles for a wardrobe of everyday civilian clothes, Gaga is almost unrecognizable.

Cinematographer Matthew Libatique is responsible for the visuals, which, as one can tell from the trailer, are breathtaking.

There are multiple screenwriters on the project, which is usually a bad sign, yet, an inclusion of Eric Roth, the scribe responsible for penning “Forrest Gump” and “The Insider,” suggests the screenplay will have strong bones.

On the other end of the screenwriting spectrum is Will Fetters, who has adapted two Nicholas Sparks books and seems to be exploring new ground with “A Star is Born.” This brings to mind Steven Rogers, who wrote the screenplay for “I, Tonya” despite being a famed romantic comedy writer for many years. Cooper is the third credited writer, and he’s definitely a newbie in that department.

There are many examples of films that have been written, directed and produced by actors that have been disasters: Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River” and Nicholas Cage’s “Sonny” spring to mind—both of which you may never have heard of, probably a good thing. Those actors never directed again.

But there have also been success stories: Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard and Ben Affleck are the obvious names. Interchangeable filmmaking hats work for them.

Things could go awry with “A Star is Born,” due in theaters Oct. 5, but on the other hand, they could soar and signal an opportunity for Cooper to expand his creative reach into new depths.