Clinty, Clint, Clint, Clint. Er, I should say, Mr. Eastwood. I owe you that respect. I have watched you over these many years, admired your work as an actor and been blown away by the films you’ve directed. From Play Misty for Me to A Fistful of Dollars to Two Mules for Sister Sarah; through all the Dirty Harry movies and even those goofy (sorta dumbass, but still kind of funny) “Right turn, Clyde,” Every/Any Which Way… things, I have loved you. Your young scowl turned me on and let me believe that there was always someone out there, meaner than I was. I have marveled over artists’ renderings of you and endured a boyfriend that probably loved you more than he did me. I even went on that twisty turn you took with Meryl Streep (Bridges of Madison Country) and trust me, that shit was weird. As the years have gone by, age has softened you and allowed your emotions to come through. You surprised me by putting them on full display in Mystic River (and please note, I’m one of the few Pajibans to stand by that film and Sean Penn’s performance) and Million Dollar Baby. Gran Torino reminded me of why we all fell in love with you in the first place, you crusty, old coot, but I haven’t seen Hereafter because I’m afraid it may signal the beginning of a downward spiral. (The critics, they waffled.)
And then I read this rumor—quite a while ago—and I thought it must be just that: a crazy rumor. I remember it sounded so wrong in my head that my brain automatically shut the thought down. Maybe I was drunk? Smoking some funny stuff? Maybe Mr. Eastwood was smoking the funny stuff. Could it be Alzheimer’s or senility setting in? No, it just can’t be real, I reassured myself. But the rumor grew ugly, spindly, spiky, little legs that sprouted across the internet, like the gestating alien that burst from Kane’s chest. That disgusting rumor has scampered about the airwaves; a vile creature that seemingly cannot be stopped until it invades every last one of us, sending chills and shudders down our spines. There are no words—there is no training—that can prepare you for these words you are about to see:
Clint Eastwood is going to direct Beyonce in a remake of A Star is Born.
Can you still see or are you blind? If you can still see, is the room spinning? Maybe you should sit down for the rest of this.
If you don’t know anything about A Star is Born, no worries, you really haven’t missed much. The version that most people know is the second remake, which starred Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson (who I think is better known for his music, though you probably haven’t heard it, regardless). It’s a seriously cheesy 70s film that follows the rise of a singer’s career against the decline of her mentor’s, focusing on the relationship between them. I haven’t seen Country Strong, but from the description of that film, it was a variation on A Star is Born. What matters more than the plot of the film, in this case, is the star and I just cannot imagine what could have gone through Clint Eastwood’s brain. Have we learned nothing from the “acting” careers of Madonna and Jennifer Lopez? The project (according to reports) has been languishing since 2008 and the male lead prospects have ranged from Will Smith and Eddie Murphy to Russell Crowe and John Hamm. The latest rumor is that Eastwood is trying to interest Leonardo DiCaprio (run Leo, run!) while the two are working together on a J. Edgar Hoover film. Just sit back and let that idea sink into your brain for a moment: Leo DiCaprio and Beyonce doing a film together. At first it doesn’t compute, then it hurts a little bit and finally, like a bursting dam (popping blood vessels maybe?) something gives and a bunch of rainbow colors appear. Maybe, in some sick, psychedelic, Dali-ish way this could work? Could it be Clint Eastwood’s Hollywood kiss-off, a finale we could try to dissect until the end of time? I can picture him—squinty-eyed—with his trademark expressionless mouth, leaving us with his own Eyes Wide Shut.
Fade to black.