Update: Streisand Interested in Starring, Not Directing GYPSY; Producers on Board; Tom Hanks?
Michael Riedel reported in the New York Post today that straight from the mouth of bookwriter Arthur Laurents is word that Barbra Streisand is "deep in negotiations to direct, produce and star in a movie version of GYPSY" for which Laurents has given her approval.
Laurents, who directed Streisand in her first Broadway show, I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE, and who wrote THE WAY WE WERE for her said that he's has long talks with her on the subject, and that "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."
The New York Times has gotten more information on the story, talking to both Arthur Laurents and to Stephen Sondheim who told them that Warner Brothers and Joel Silver are on board as producers, and that he'd (Laurents) suggested Tom Hanks for Herbie, an idea that he says Barbra Streisand loved.
Laurents also says that Streisand is no longer going to direct the film, as she once wanted to but instead will just play the part.
Streisand has appeared on Broadway in I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE and FUNNY GIRL. She has also received a special Tony Award. Her film work includes FUNNY GIRL, FUNNY LADY, YENTL, and NUTS.
She has won numerous awards including the Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy awards.
Barbra's 63rd album, "Love Is The Answer" has been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), just months after debuting at #1 on the Billboard Charts. This brings the number of gold albums awarded to Barbra to 51. Additionally, Barbra is the recipient of 30 platinum albums and 13 multi-platinum albums.
GYPSY was last seen in a production that was first presented by Encores! from July 9 to 29, 2007 with Patti LuPone playing Rose, and direction by Arthur Laurents. Principal casting included Laura Benanti in the title role of "Gypsy/Louise", with Boyd Gaines as "Herbie", and Leigh Ann Larkin as "Dainty June."
Arthur Laurents directed his famed production for Encores!, which is based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business mother." It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life. The character of Louise is based on Lee, and the character of June is based on Lee's sister, the actress June Havoc.
The Encores! production was so successful it moved to Broadway at the ST. James Theatre, opening in March 2008, with Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines, Laura Benanti, and Leigh Ann Larkin reprising their roles. Arthur Laurentsagain directed and Bonnie Walker reproduced the original choreography by Jerome Robbins. The production closed on January 11, 2009 after 332 performances and 27 previews. The production won three Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards, in each case for the performances by LuPone, Gaines and Benanti. It was also nominated for Best Revival of a Musical, and Best Direction. The show was originally intended to close in March 2009 on Lupone's final performance, but closed in January due to decreases in ticket sales.