Wednesday, May 22, 2024

In the Lady Gaga-Bradley Cooper “Star is Born” No One Will Say “My Name is Mrs. Norman Maine”


Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are casting now for their version of “A Star is Born.”

There have been three movies with that title. In all of them, the main characters are Esther Hoffman (known as Vicky Lester in the Janet Gaynor and Judy Garland versions) and Norman Maine (redubbed John Norman Howard in the Kris Kristofferson incarnation).

In the Barbra Streisand-Kristofferson version, Babs was called Esther.

Famously, at the end of the earlier versions, Esther greets a Hollywood crowd and says “Hello, My name is Mrs. Norman Maine.”

Alas, Norman and Esther are too old school for the new generation. The main characters are now called Jack and Ally. I guess young people will only relate to the same names they hear on TV on every freaking show. Norman and Esther? God forbid. In the new version, at the end, Gaga will probably come out and say.
“I’m Mrs. Jack whatever, or I’m Ms. Ally so-and-so.” It sounds like the main characters from Lost and Ally McBeal finally get together.

And the funny thing is, Norman Maine would be a great name for an actor or movie star now. Gaga saying “Hello My name is Mrs. Norman Maine!” hands in the air before playing a big final number in a stadium would be a cool way to the end film. But it ain’t gonna be.

Production begins April 17th. In the meantime, they’re also casting for a Middle Eastern type who’s a savvy producer in his late 20s, early 30s. Guys, hire Kal Penn. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Meantime, Bill Condon– celebrating today with a monster hit in “Beauty and the Beast”– is the latest director announced attached to “A Star is Born” the play, set for Broadway.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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