There’s something about the story of A Star Is Born that has sparked the imagination of filmmakers throughout Hollywood history. Bradley Cooper‘s latest incarnation is the fourth, following previous adaptations in 1937 (starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March), perhaps the most famous in 1954 (Judy Garland, James Mason), then again in 1976 (Barbara Streisand, Kris Kristofferson).
The story of a young up-and-coming talent being mentored by an old alcoholic pro has been set in movies, in music, and with a mix of the two. Here, it appears that Cooper – in his directorial debut – leans into the ’76 version of the music world but, fueled by the first acting showcase for Lady Gaga.
It’s a remake that could seem so tired and recycled, but this first trailer suggests an assured first feature from Cooper, teasing a strong sense of visual style that he’s gleaned from his films with Oscar-nominated and winning directors. (This trailer also makes sense of why Steven Spielberg teamed with Cooper to helm the Leonard Bernstein biopic he’s producing.)
Cooper’s performance looks strong, too, as he authentically carries the swaggering burden of a deteriorating drunk. It’s no surprise that Gaga has a magnetic screen presence, but she also looks to be digging deeper than her stage persona to really bare her soul.
Unless this first-rate trailer is especially deceptive, expect this to be in the Oscar conversation (for its two leads at least, but perhaps also Dave Chappelle in a supporting turn).
Also co-starring Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born opens on October 5, 2018.