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Barbra Streisand Out as Director of SKINNY AND CAT Film

Showbiz411 reports exclusively that Barbra Streisand will no longer direct the upcoming film SKINNY AND CAT. The project, starring Colin Firth and Cate Blanchett, would have marked her first time in the director's chair in 16 years. According to the Showbiz411 update, Blanchett is also no longer attached to the project. Her role will be taken over by Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz. The producers are currently searching for a new director.

Streisand last directed 1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces" and has been credited with paving the way for other female directors in the industry. Her directorial debut, 1983's Yentl, caused a stir in Hollywood but opened the door for the likes of Kathryn Bigelow, Penny Marshall, Amy Heckerling, Nora Ephron, Betty Thomas and Susan Seidelman.

SKINNY AND CAT follows the love affair between writer Erskine Caldwell and photojournalist Margaret Bourke White. Linda Yellen is set to produce from a script she wrote. The film was to be independently financed and was scheduled to begin production in January of 2013.

The project has reportedly been talked about from as far back as 1982. Last year, Streisand expressed interest in directing it, however sources say Streisand was "unable to make meetings about the project" last year. During the fall of 2012, the film's producers offered her the alternative of being a producer on the film without the "hassle of directing." Representatives for the actress said she would only agree to that offer if the contract read "producer for life," which the producers declined to accept.

Last week it was reported that Streisand will now direct a different film about Bourke White and Caldwell, financed by Russian backed Aldemisa Films. However this latest project is not permitted to "in any way use material from 30 years of drafts of "Skinny and Cat."

Streisand is about to embark on a sold out tour with dates in Europe and Israel this June. She is also involved with an upcoming big screen reboot of the musical "Gypsy". On April 22nd, she will receive the prestigious Chaplin Award from the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

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. A lauded performer, she has won numerous awards including the Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy awards.

Barbra's 63rd album, "Love Is The Answer," was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) just months after debuting at #1 on the Billboard Charts. Additionally, Barbra is the recipient of 30 platinum albums and 13 multi-platinum albums. Her newest album, "What Matters Most," was released on Aug. 22, 2011.

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