Last year, Warner Bros. did well at the Oscars with Christopher Nolan‘s WWII epic “Dunkirk,” which won three of its eight bids. And the studio’s co-production “Blade Runner 2049” went two for five. This year, the studio has two more films that are poised to be a major player at the Academy Awards: Bradley Cooper‘s remake of “A Star is Born” and “Creed II,” the eighth installment in the “Rocky” franchise. The latter is a co-production with famed studio MGM which will be handling domestic distribution while WB takes it international.
Making his directorial debut, Cooper also plays Jackson Maine, a country crooner who mentors would-be musician Ally (Lady Gaga). They fall in love and her star rises as his wanes. It’s a timeless story. Gaga goes brunette and deglamorizes while Cooper boasts a beard and a tan. The film features a slew of catchy new tunes.
This is the third remake of the 1937 original, which reaped Oscar bids for Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. Likewise the 1954 musical version earned Oscar nominations for Judy Garland and James Mason. While the most recent remake in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson was snubbed above-the-line, Streisand won the Best Original Song Oscar for “Evergreen.”
Below, detailed listings of each of these Oscar contenders, including release dates, creative types, cast lists, running times, plot summaries, and receptions both critical and commercial.
“Creed II” (MGM/Warner Bros.) – November 21
Director: Steven Caple Jr.,
Writer: Sylvester Stallone and Cheo Hodari Coker
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Phylicia Rashad, Andre Ward, Wood Harris
Summary: Adonis Creed trains in order to defeat the son of Ivan Drago, the powerful athlete who killed his father in the ring more than 30 years prior.
“A Star is Born” (Warner Bros.) – October 5
Director: Bradley Cooper,
Writer: Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, Sam Elliott
Summary: A musician helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.