A Star Is Born Almost Starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Beyoncé

The best movie of the year could have looked very different.

Here are a few of the questions I asked myself after attending the North American premiere of A Star Is Born at TIFF: Is this the best movie I’ve ever seen? Will Bradley Cooper be the next Clint Eastwood? Could Beyoncé have pulled off what Lady Gaga did in this film? Will I ever stop crying?

Little did I know how on the nose my queries were. It turns out, the latest adaptation of this classic Hollywood story—the most recent A Star is Born is a remake of a 1976 Barbra Streisand remake of a 1954 Judy Garland remake of a 1937 film of the same name—had a long journey to the silver screen. Back in 2011, Clint Eastwood was set to direct a modern adaption of the script, with Beyoncé as the lead. And in said film, who would star opposite Queen Bey in the role of a washed up male musician? Well, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio were all reportedly in talks for the part. (Wild stuff, we know.)

After a series of delays, Bradley Cooper picked up the project in 2014 as his directorial debut, and, at the time, Beyoncé was still attached. In 2016, Page Six reported that the Cooper x Carter A Star Is Born remake had fallen through due to a certain star’s costly star power. “Beyoncé wanted too much money,” a source told Page Six at the time, “and Warner Bros. balked at her price. The production budget was also said to be an issue with the studio, so the project has fallen apart.”

Two years later, and here we are: A Star is Born hasn’t been publicly released yet, and already Lady Gaga is the favourite to win this year’s Oscar for Best Actress. (And Cooper could very well take home just about every other award—actor, director, screenwriter, songwriter—at the ceremony.) Movie making is a rollercoaster, but I for one wouldn’t change a single thing about how this one ended up on the screen. As much as I love Leo and Bey, I can’t imagine them giving us this.