UPDATED: Barbra Streisand in Negotiations to Star in New Film Version of Gypsy

By Andrew Gans
05 Jan 2011

Academy Award winner Barbra Streisand is currently in negotiations to star in a new film version of the classic American musical Gypsy, according to the New York Post.



Streisand, according to the New York daily, recently obtained the approval of Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book for the musical and directed the story of an infamous stage mother on numerous occasions.

Laurents told the Post, "Barbra and I have been getting along very well now for some time. We've talked about it a lot, and she knows what she's doing. She has my approval."

The Tony-winning director also said that Streisand is aware that she will need to tap into a darker side of herself to play the overbearing stage mother. "Barbra and I have had long talks on this very subject," Laurents said. "She had a mother who she always thought was Mama Rose. I don't want to get into the details, but the point is she knows. She's got it in her. She's going to be much more than people expect."

Laurents said he will not be involved in the writing of the screenplay for this "Gypsy."

Although the New York Post said that Streisand will also direct and produce the film, the New York Times, which also talked to Laurents, said she will not handle those additional duties. Although a director has not been named, Warner Brothers and Joel Silver are currently attached as producers.

Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by Laurents. The musical bowed on Broadway in May 1959 at the Broadway Theatre, playing 702 performances before closing at the Imperial Theatre, where it later transferred, on March 25, 1961. Ethel Merman created the role of Rose in the original production; subsequent Broadway Roses include Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone. Merman and Peters were Tony-nominated for their performances; Lansbury, Daly and LuPone won the coveted award.

Rosalind Russell starred in the film version. Bette Midler played Rose in a TV production.

Barbra Streisand starred on Broadway in I Can Get It for You Wholesale and Funny Girl, earning Tony Award nominations for both performances. She received a 1970 Special Tony Award. The actress, composer and director has won two Academy Awards: for Best Actress in a Leading Role in "Funny Girl" and for Best Music, Original Song (with Paul Williams) for the "A Star Is Born" song "Evergreen." Her Grammy-winning recordings are numerous. Streisand is also a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

Streisand is also the author of the newly released "My Passion for Design."

For more information visit www.barbrastreisand.com.