Ready or not, here comes Barbra! Some new steps have been made in the already-lengthy journey that has been the Gypsy feature film, starring Barbra Streisand as Rose, the ultimate stage momma. According to Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke, Universal Pictures has hired Oscar-nominated screenwriter Richard LaGravenese to pen the musical adaptation. Originally, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes had been employed for the job, as reported in March of 2012.
Finke reports that Streisand herself may want to take on the role of both star and director for the project. Last year, she was in talks to co-direct with Tony winner Matthew Warchus, who has helmed such Broadway shows as Matilda, God of Carnage and the 2001 revival of Follies. Directing herself in a musical is not new to Streisand; in 1983 she starred in, produced, co-wrote and directed Yentl.
LaGravenese was nominated for an Oscar in 1992 for the screenplay of The Fisher King. He is no stranger to bringing works from the stage to the big screen, having just recently penned the film adaptation of The Last 5 Years, set to premiere later this year in Toronto. He worked with Streisand previously on The Mirror Has Two Faces (which she directed, produced and starred in).
Streisand’s Gypsy project was first announced in January of 2011. Just months later, the show’s lyricist Stephen Sondheim and the late librettist Arthur Laurents had intended to have the project scrapped, though it was soon reported back on.
The question remains: is Lady Gaga still on the table?