Barbra Streisand‘s dream of starring in a movie remake of the classic musical Gypsy may not be dead after all.
Six months after Universal Pictures officially passed on the long-in-development project, STX Entertainment is currently in “advanced negotiations” with the Grammy and Oscar winner to play Madame Rose, with fellow Oscar winner Barry Levinson directing, according to Variety.
Production could start this year.
No official word on who would play Gypsy. In a 2012 interview with Time magazine, Streisand said she was considering casting Lady Gaga in the role of Louise. Since that time the Grammy Award-winning performer won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Limited TV Series for her role on American Horror Story: Hotel. She and Streisand have also met on several occasions.
Additional reports have also stated that Grease and Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta may be on board to co-star as Herbie. “Well, yeah, I mean Barbra wanting to do Gypsy for years, and she’s been developing it, and I think she always visualized Gaga as Louise and maybe me as Herbie,” Travolta told Extra in a separate interview last fall.
Streisand reportedly is involved in adapting the film script with Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, The Last Five Years). Streisand will produce the film with Joel Silver (Lethal Weapon).
STX chairman Adam Fogelson was quoted saying, “It’s Barbra Streisand doing one more, if not the last, movie musical of her career.” He said he was excited by “the type of talent that is clamoring to work with her on one of the most famous and satisfying musicals ever.”
The news comes almost exactly 52 years after Streisand opened on Broadway in another classic, Funny Girl. She also starred in the 1968 film version of that musical, which also had music by composer Jule Styne.
Based on the autobiography of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical focused on her relationship with her mother, Rose Hovik, who shepherded her through the world of vaudeville when she was a child, always treating her as second-best to her sister, June.
Originally written for Broadway diva Ethel Merman, Gypsy was filmed in 1962 with Rosalind Russell in the role.
Universal, which had been working with Streisand on the project, formally put Gypsy in turnaround in October 2015, meaning it has decided not to develop the film any further.
During her concert tour, Streisand performed several songs from Gypsy to acclaim, including "Rose's Turn." Gypsy has music by Jule Styne.
Broadway Roses have included Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Linda Lavin, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone. Rosalind Russell starred in the Hollywood film; Bette Midler played Rose on TV. Jack Klugman created the role of Herbie on Broadway; Karl Malden played the role on the silver screen.