Here she is, boys; here she is, world… here’s Barbra! Well, maybe.
After years in development, it looks like a new film adaptation of the musical Gypsy is back on track with Barbra Streisand potentially directing herself as Mama Rose. Universal has now reportedly hired Richard LaGravenese to write a new script for the musical by Jule Styne, Arthur Laurents, and Stephen Sondheim, a smart move for the studio. LaGravenese worked with Streisand before, on 1996′s The Mirror Has Two Faces, and wrote HBO’s splashy Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra. He also recently finished directing his film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Actually, those two actors would be a great choice to play Louise and Tulsa respectively, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes had been hired by the studio back in 2012 to write a new script based on the true story of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her stage mother from hell, Rose Havoc. Ethel Merman originated the role of Rose on Broadway in 1959, and Rosalind Russell and Bette Midler have both starred in separate film versions. But after the death of director/book writer Laurents in 2011, Sondheim now has full and sole approval over the film’s director and the actors playing the three main roles of Rose, Louise, and Herbie. Of course, by the time the film gets made, it may end up being more like Grandma Rose; Merman was 51 when she originated the role, Streisand turned 72 in April.
Streisand hasn’t helmed a musical since Yentl, but something tells me she’s gonna see to it that her Rose is seen one day.