Playbill: Streisand’s Gypsy “won’t be the theatrical Gypsy” audiences know; Filming to start in 2017

Barbra Streisand Gypsy Film Script Complete and Aiming for 2017 Start
JUL 14, 2016


Richard LaGravenese, who is adapting the film script with Streisand, shared details on the planned film remake, including that it “won’t be the theatrical Gypsy” audiences know.

The film remake of Gypsy, starring Barbra Streisand in the iconic role of Rose, is still in the works, and according to writer-director Richard LaGravenese, who is adapting the script alongside Streisand, production is slated to commence at the beginning of 2017.

“The difficult problem [with Gypsy] is making it cinematic,” LaGravenese told at the July 14 New York Musical Festival press event promoting this year’s shows, including his NYMF directorial debut with Touché (by Randy Redd and Blair Ross). “That’s the nut to crack. Coming up with a concept that helps to make it cinematic. For instance, you have ”˜Some [People],’ which is this gigantic song which she sings in a kitchen, so how do you make that [cinematic]? These are the things that we worked on, making things more visual.

“Barry Levinson is directing, and he came on with a concept. It’s hard to describe without giving it away. He came up with a cinematic concept that I think works, but it means that things have to be changed a little bit. People have to embrace the fact that it won’t be the theatrical Gypsy–it will be the film Gypsy. But all the songs are there.”

Though he couldn’t speak more on an exact timeline for the film, LaGravenese added that the rewrite of the script was completed in May and that casting should be in the works.

LaGravenese is known for his film work. He previously collaborated with Streisand on The Mirror Has to Faces. He also directed the screen adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, starring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, which received mostly positive marks. Read’s recap of the film here.

As previously reported, after Universal Pictures officially passed on the long-in-development Gypsy project, STX Entertainment was in “advanced negotiations” to pick it up.

In a 2012 interview with Time magazine, Streisand said she was considering casting Lady Gaga in the role of Louise. Since that time the Grammy Award-winning performer won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Limited TV Series for her role on American Horror Story: Hotel. She and Streisand have also met on several occasions. Streisand also recently revealed that she interviewed Daisy Ridley ( Star Wars) for the Gypsy film. They performed together (along with Anne Hathaway) on the Chorus Line trio “At the Ballet” for Streisand’s upcoming Broadway album.

Additional reports have also stated that Grease and Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta may be on board to co-star as Herbie. “Well, yeah, I mean Barbra [has been] wanting to do Gypsy for years, and she’s been developing it, and I think she always visualized Gaga as Louise and maybe me as Herbie,” Travolta told Extra in an earlier interview.

Streisand will produce the film with Joel Silver ( Lethal Weapon).

Gypsy features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Based on the autobiography of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical focuses on her relationship with her mother, Rose Hovik, who shepherded her through the world of vaudeville when she was a child, always treating her as second-best to her sister, June.

Originally written for Broadway diva Ethel Merman, Gypsy was filmed in 1962 with Rosalind Russell in the role. It was remade for television in 1993 starring Bette Midler.

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