Beyoncé quits Eastwood's A Star is Born – was it their politics?
Did the Republican director's 'empty chair' speech prompt Obama-supporting Beyoncé to quit film?
CLINT EASTWOOD's forthcoming remake of A Star is Born is said to be in "turmoil" after singer Beyoncé Knowles pulled out of the project. Some observers wonder if her exit had anything to do with the singer and director's differing political views.
Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z proudly hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama's re-election campaign in September while Eastwood and his empty chair famously rallied for Mitt Romney at the GOP convention, the New York Post points out.
But the singer claims that she quit due to her busy schedule. "I was looking forward to the production of A Star Is Born and the opportunity to work with Clint Eastwood," she told E! News. "For months we tried to coordinate our schedules to bring this remake to life but it was just not possible. Hopefully in the future we will get a chance to work together."
It is the second time Beyoncé has quit the remake – she left in 2010 over delays before becoming back on board when Eastwood was announced as director in January 2011.
The evergreen story, about an ageing male star who takes a sparky ingenue under his wing, has been made three times. The most famous version is the 1954 film starring James Mason as the Hollywood actor whose career is on the wane and Judy Garland as a bright young actress.
Eastwood proposes to set the story in the music business, like the 1976 version starring Kris Kristoffersen and Barbra Streisand. He is now said to be interested in casting jazz musician Esperanza Spalding as his new female lead, but a report in Variety suggests studio Warner Bros is determined to lock down a male lead before that happens.
Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith have been reportedly been under consideration in the three-year search, while Bradley Cooper is the most recent actor to be linked to the role.
But CinemaBlend believes A Star Is Born is "looking weaker than ever" without Beyoncé, saying that "the entire remake idea is seeming kind of pointless without her at its centre".