Barbra Streisand has been approached by producer Joel Silver (The Matrix, Die Hard) to star in a film remake of the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy.
CinemaBlend reports that Streisand is part of the groundwork discussion that would join the 2-time Oscar winner of A Star Is Born and Funny Girl with 8-time Tony Award winner Stephen Sondheim.
Sondheim, reported to be lobbying to get the music superstar to sign on, was responsible for the musical’s lyrical success with showstoppers such as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Let Me Entertain You,” and “Together Wherever We Go.”
Baby Boomers remember Natalie Wood as “Gypsy Rose Lee” in the 1962 film version, Gypsy, co-starring Rosalind Russell, and Karl Malden.
Streisand would assume Russell’s role as “Rose,” the unrelenting stage mother — just the kind of pushy, steamrolling character that “Barbra” has been known to play, and which was initially personified by Ethel Merman in the Broadway hit.
Currently, there is no director or writer selected for the Warner Bros. production — which could be a big selling point if the “People” hitmaker was allowed to have input into their selection.
However, it’s been a long time since the 62-year old performer has been cast in a musical — and the “Evergreen” singer appears to be somewhat content with reprising her role as “Roz Focker” in the Meet The Parents film series.
Though there has been some speculation that the poor performance of 2010’s Burlesque’s at the boxoffice is an indication that Gypsy might not suit the taste of modern audiences, the show’s pedigree and reputation as a solid piece on a popular character continues to endure.
Furthermore, with a worldwide legion of fans, it’s hard to imagine that audiences wouldn’t follow Streisand into theaters for perhaps her last starring performance in a musical.
Did you know? Stephen Sondheim almost missed out on writing the lyrics for Gypsy. Broadway star Ethyl Merman demanded a composer with a proven track record and the famous lyricist was just getting started. Eventually, Jule Styne was hired as the official composer — which is why Sondheim’s lyricis went uncredited at the time.
See slideshow on this page for a recap of Barbra Streisand film releases, including such classics as Hello Dolly and Funny Girl.