Everything You Need To Know About 'A Star Is Born' Before The Musical Hits Theaters

Bradley Cooper's directorial debut has been years in the making.

Warner Bros. | Art by Rafael Hidalgo for Zimbio

Bradley Cooper, known for starring in films like Limitless, Joy, and Silver Linings Playbook, will soon make his directorial debut with the upcoming romantic drama A Star Is Born. The musical is the third remake of the 1937 film of the same name. The film was also remade in 1954 and famously in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Cooper, who wrote the screenplay alongside Will Fetters (The Best of Me, The Lucky One) and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) searched for over a year for the right actress to play the film's female protagonist. When he finally announced Lady Gaga was his pick, it was a surprising choice. While the talented performer won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television for her role as The Duchess in American Horror Story: Hotel, her acting experience is minimal. However, when the 32-year-old shared shared her connection to the role during the Venice Film Festival, it made sense why Cooper would involve her.

"When I started out, I was not the most beautiful girl in the room," Gaga said. "[Producers] wanted to take my songs and give [them] to other singers but… I held on to them."

"They made suggestions about how I should look," she continued. "I didn’t want to be viewed like other women, be sexy like other women. I wanted to have my own vision."

Gaga's real life experience is similar to that of the film's female lead, Ally Campana, an aspiring singer-songwriter. With A Star Is Born set to finally be released this Friday, read on to get up to speed on all the details on the film.

What is A Star Is Born about?

When accomplished musician Jackson "Jack" Maine discovers aspiring singer-songwriter Ally, he throws all his energy into mentoring her. He empowers her despite her belief that she's either not talented enough or not pretty enough to be a star.

"Almost every single person has told me they like the way I sounded but that they didn't like the way I look," Ally states in the film's first trailer. Meanwhile, Jack grapples with his own demons: alcoholism and the struggles of aging. While Ally's career jets upward, Jack's begins to dwindle. The two fall in love as they keep each other above water.

Love the song? You can head to YouTube to watch the official music video for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's "Shallow," which dropped last week. 

A Brief History

Everything To Know About 'A Star Is Born' Before It Hits Theaters
Warner Bros.

A Star Is Born has been in the works since 2011. Initially, Clint Eastwood was set to direct while Beyoncé was slated to star as Ally. The singer's pregnancy with her first child, Blue Ivy Carter, put the project on hold, and in October 2012, Variety reported that she had officially exited.

Around this time, Eastwood was shopping for the film's male lead. He reportedly considered a number of actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith. Eventually, Cooper was tapped to play Jackson. The decision came as a surprise to many fans who wondered how he would handle the singing role.

For years, the project went quiet, and many fans assumed the film was dead. Thankfully, in early 2015, Warner Bros. announced Cooper was being eyed to direct and star in the film. As soon as Cooper took ownership, the project took off. His first mission was to find the Ally to his Jackson (Jack). After more than a year of searching, rumors started to spread that Gaga was his pick. In the summer of 2016, Deadline announced Gaga was officially attached to the project.

Who is in A Star Is Born?

Everything To Know About 'A Star Is Born' Before It Hits Theaters
Warner Bros.

In addition to Cooper and Gaga, the film features Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Ramos, Bonnie Somerville, Andrew Dice Clay, and Michael Harney.

Rafi Gavron and Rebecca Field were cast later on in the process while singer Halsey is the most recent addition.

How are critics reviewing it?

Everything To Know About 'A Star Is Born' Before It Hits Theaters
Warner Bros.

Across the board, Cooper's directorial debut is receiving rave reviews.

Variety's Owen Gleiberman calls it "a total emotional knockout" and the New York Times's Manohla Dargis points out that Cooper offers an in-depth take on Jack we've never seen before:

"Mr. Cooper spends more time on the story’s male lead than previous iterations have, perhaps because he’s taken the role himself."

Screen Rant dubs the film "a moving (and tear-jerking) love story by way of showbiz melodrama."

The musical also currently boasts a sweet 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

When will the film be released?

A Star Is Born hits theaters this Friday, Oct. 5.

Everything To Know About 'A Star Is Born' Before It Hits Theaters
Warner Bros.

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