‘A Star Is Born’: Alternative Endings Revealed

For those hoping the ending would change completely from previous adaptations, you need to guess again.

Bradley Cooper (L) and Lady Gaga walk the red carpet ahead of the 'A Star Is Born' screening during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on August 31, 2018 in Venice, Italy.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

For those hoping the ending would change completely from previous adaptations, you need to guess again.

The ending of this year’s adaptation of the classic movie A Star Is Born is quite dramatic. However, those involved with the film now reveal there were several alternative endings they toyed with. So, how could this movie have ended?

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses the ending of the 2018 movie, A Star Is Born. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this movie and wish to avoid spoilers.

Now that you have been officially warned, we shall now be heading into spoiler territory from here on out.

In all versions of A Star Is Born, the main male lead ends up dying. While this remains true in the latest adaptation, there were a couple of endings floating around when the script was in development. However, for those that are hopeful this version of A Star Is Born had a happier outcome, your hopes are about to be dashed.

According to an article by Rolling Stone magazine, two alternative endings were considered. Although in both instances, the main male character, Jackson Maine, still ended up dying.

The basic story arc for A Star Is Born sees Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) kill himself after deciding his addictions were a burden on his wife, Ally (Lady Gaga). In the 2018 movie, Jackson achieves this by hanging himself. However, initial storyboards for the script saw two alternative endings for his death.

“The first ending that I read, [Jackson] actually swims out into the ocean, where he commits suicide,” Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said in the interview with Rolling Stone.

Another alternative ending for A Star Is Born sees a storyline more akin to the 1976 version of the movie, which starred Kris Kristofferson as John Norman Howard, that version’s equivalent of Cooper’s character in the new film.

“The script that we had when he started shooting, he rides his motorcycle. It was more like the Kris Kristofferson ending [in the 1976 version] with the Ferrari, but with Jackson [riding on] the Harley. But Bradley changed his mind and came to see me and pitched the idea of what he ended up shooting. I think he was right. When I watch the movie now, I can’t imagine it ending any other way.”

A Star Is Born has been produced as a movie several times now. The original was released in 1937 and starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March in the main roles. In 1954, Judy Garland and James Mason took the lead roles for the next adaptation. Then, in 1976, Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson reprised these roles. In addition to these movies, A Star Is Born also got the Bollywood treatment in 2013 with Aashiqui 2 (English title: Romance 2).