The film that came to be Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born was, at one point, supposed to star Beyoncé. Way back in 2011, the project was first announced with queen Bey herself starring and Clint Eastwood directing. But the film got stuck in Hollywood’s developmental pipeline (at one point, Leonardo DiCaprio was supposed to star opposite Bey, at another, Jennifer Lopez was set to replace Beyoncé). One thing led to another, and eventually it was Gaga and Cooper’s version that was made.
You know who it seems would have much rather seen the Beyoncé version? Barbra Streisand.
Streisand famously starred in the 1976 version of A Star is Born. The film itself was, of course, based on the Judy Garland-starring 1954 original, but it was the Streisand version that added the musical element. It’s generally acknowledged that the 2018 version does bear a bit more resemblance to Babs’s version than it does Judy’s.
“At first, when I heard it was going to be done again, it was supposed to be Will Smith and Beyoncé, and I thought, that’s interesting. Really make it different again, different kind of music, integrated actors. I thought that was a great idea,” Barbra told the Australian talk show The Sunday Project. “So, I was surprised when I saw how alike it was to the version that I did in 1976.”
“I thought it was the wrong idea,” she added. “I can’t argue with success but I don’t care so much about success as I do originality.”
Of course, that’s criticism of the project itself, not Gaga. Back in 2018, Streisand did praise Gaga’s performance.
“Of course I’ve seen it,” she told Extra at the time. “I loved it. I think it is wonderful. She is wonderful. Bradley told me he spent months with her working to see her real self.”
The same year, however, she did tell Variety that she originally thought the film would be significantly different. “I thought when it was going to be done it was going to be very different and have a multiracial cast, and the music was going to be rap. But it’s more like the movie I made.”
Again, Barbra isn’t criticizing Gaga, she just wanted to see something a little different. Besides, who among us isn’t at least a bit curious about what might have been had Beyoncé starred instead?