Bradley Cooper: the next A-list actor turned director

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One of the things I really enjoy seeing in the film industry is when actors get to the point in their careers where they have the ability to move behind the camera and choose their ideal debut projects. Sometimes, you even get a Ben Affleck situation, where the actor turns out to be an even better filmmaker and winds up winning some awards. That’s the ideal situation, though most of the time actors and actresses turn out to be at least competent filmmakers, if not better. Well, we have another top tier actor wanting to direct, and it’s a real A-lister too. The gentleman in question? None other than Bradley Cooper, and wait until you see what he wants his directorial debut to be…

In case you haven’t heard, Cooper is hoping to direct the remake of A Star is Born that his American Sniper director Clint Eastwood had been pursuing for years. Not only that, but Cooper wants to hopefully star alongside Eastwood’s choice of leading lady: Beyonce. Yup, this is truly an interesting pick on Cooper’s part, especially when he’s recently become such a big part of awards vehicles. At the same time though, it will undoubtedly be a chance to show some extra range and only further his career both in front of and behind the camera. If nothing else, you can’t accuse Cooper of making a boring pick.

It’s not hard to imagine Cooper truly following in Affleck’s footsteps, or even Eastwood’s, as they definitely seemed to have a rapport on American Sniper, particularly during the Oscar campaign that followed. This isn’t to suggest that Cooper is a surefire Academy Award winner to come (though I’m pretty sure he’s going to win for Acting one of these days), but just to remark that he’s got the feel of someone who can go far behind the camera. Having the pull as an A-lister that he currently has won’t hurt either, as he can get some things done that might otherwise have roadblocks for someone without the box office and industry clout he now has.

Cooper certainly also has the influences of David O. Russell to utilize as well (among others), which is another interesting factor to consider. Frankly, he’s acted with so many top notch talents and been directed by some of the industry’s best, you have to assume he’s got a treasure trove of advice to cull from. I’ll be really interested to see what his filmmaking style turns out to be. I doubt that A Star is Born will really show us his long term visual aesthetic, but it’ll definitely work towards us seeing his range right from the start, and that’s no small feat.

Basically, even if you’re not a fan of the prior versions of A Star is Born (or are a devoted lover) and see no reason for a modern remake, the beginning of Cooper’s career as a director is more than enough to make this a notable project. There’s a chance that this turns out to be a phenomenal film, just like there’s a chance that it turns out to be an epic misfire, but honestly that’s the case with any movie at the start. I just know that Cooper has gotten consistently better as an actor, so trying his hand at directing makes perfect sense to me. We’ll probably be able to judge his directing skills in a year or two, so this isn’t the first (or the last) time that I’ll be bringing up Cooper behind the camera. He’s got my attention here in a big way…

Stay tuned to see how Cooper fares as a director!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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