Just last week, writer Arthur Laurents nixed the idea that Barbra Streisand would star in a new film adaptation of his play “Gypsy.” He stated that only the theater could be the place for his play after, according to him, the 1962 version starring Rosalind Russell botched his story about an overbearing stage mother and her talented daughter, Gypsy Rose Lee. Either Laurents recently changed his mind, or Deadline knows something he doesn’t as they are reporting that not only is the movie is forging ahead, but that Universal Pictures will close the deal any day now.
Though Laurents told the Hartford Courant that he was withdrawing permission, new word from inside the studio claim that Streisand is still in with Joel Silver producing. Warner Brothers remains co-financiers with Universal. The new deal will also give the show’s creators a heavy voice in who to cast for Herbie, Gypsy’s future agent, and Louise aka Gypsy Rose (presumably as a child and as an adult vaudeville star). Laurents and Stephen Sondheim, the show’s lyricist, will also have a huge say in the screenwriter, director and choreographer. That’s a lot of power for for original source creators to have.
Deadline also indicates that those reports of Tom Hooper directing won’t be happening, even though he is indeed keen on the idea. Streisand will also only stay in front of the camera, not behind. Certainly a huge difference in the project from what Laurents said not too long ago. We think Streisand would be a great fit, both in terms of acting and voice. What young actress do you want to see play Louise? What about a director? You can bet that should everything get signed and sealed, the juicy role opposite Streisand will attract the cream of the young Hollywood crop (or basically everyone who was trying out for “The Hunger Games“).