Clint Eastwood cast Beyonce Knowles as the female lead in his A Star is Born remake some time ago, but he’s been searching for someone to take on the male lead. Now it’s being reported that his top choice for the part is Leonardo DiCaprio, who worked with Eastwood on the biopic J. Edgar. DiCaprio is just the latest of several candidates who have been named for the part over the past couple of years — Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, and Will Smith are among the actors once rumored for or attached to the film. DiCaprio would presumably be playing the role of Norman Maine, a fading star with a drinking problem who helps to launch the young starlet’s (Knowles) career.

DiCaprio isn’t the first actor I would’ve thought of for the part, but I’m all the more intrigued for it. We already know DiCaprio can do gloomy and brooding, but how often have we seen him do gloomy and brooding while surrounded by singing and dancing?

Eastwood’s A Star is Born is scheduled for a 2012 release. DiCaprio and Eastwood’s next collaboration, J. Edgar, will open later this year. [Deadline]

After the jump, the Sixth Sense kid is now old enough to play college students, and Jamie Chung signs up for a gritty indie.

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