Hell Has Frozen Over: Hollywood Is Doing A Remake of “The Rose”

Cynthia Erivo to Produce and Star in ‘The Rose’ Remake for Searchlight
By Angelique Jackson
June 20, 2021

Two Beautiful Ladies: Cynthia Erivo & Bette Midler
<span class=has inline color has vivid red color><strong>Two Beautiful Ladies Cynthia Erivo Bette Midler<br >But In My Eyes There Is Only One The Rose<strong><span>

Mister D: As if I wouldn’t say anything…I am so torn on this, in fact, a little stunned. I really didn’t think anyone would touch this movie. I know Ms. Cynthia Erivo is a small but powerful ball of talent, and she picked this movie to remake, which leads me to believe she has great taste and huge cajones to take this role on. I’m told she wrote a beautiful letter to Bette about what she was doing. I’m not sure if it was before or after the announcement. I saw Bette’s tweet about it saying ISN’T THIS GREAT? Everybody said Bette was happy about it because of those 3 words, but I am one of those rare personality types, and I picked up different vibes. I’m not saying I’m right, only that I could interpret that in other ways. What else confused me is that it’s supposedly an homage to The Rose which is cool, but it’s going to put a modern spin on the remake, so will Erivo be a rock star, an R & B star, pop star, etc. Plus the original was loosely based on Janis Joplin but was really an amalgam of several female and male rock stars. So, I’m just not even able to think coherently about it.

And the remake seems to be at the awkward stage we’ve all come to know waiting on Midler movies that never materialized. There doesn’t appear to be a script or much of anything else listed. Good that Searchlight is behind it. But at this point, I wouldn’t bet too much on it getting made, just looking at how slow the process is in Hollywood. Cynthia was the performer and writer of the song “Fly Before You Fall” a song in the 2014 movie, Beyond The Lights, which got great reviews and several critics said it was an homage to “The Rose” I had always meant to post about that movie, but just forgot. You can find it a lot on streaming services, so check it out. I will be keeping my eye on this one because I’m very curious as to where they’re going to take this movie.

Bette Midler in The Rose
<span class=has inline color has vivid red color><strong>Bette Midler in The Rose<strong><span>

Cynthia Erivo has set up a remake of the Bette Midler-starring film “The Rose,” signing on to produce and star in the new movie for Searchlight. The Grammy, Tony, and Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee will take on the title role in the musical romantic drama, which follows a self-destructive female rock star who struggles to deal with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of those who surround her. But while the new production will pay homage to the classic film, Erivo’s take on the story is said to “put a contemporary lens on the high price of fame.”

Erivo will produce the project with Solome Williams under her newly launched production banner Edith’s Daughter. Williams serves as vice president of development at the label, which has a first-look deal with MRC Television and Civic Center Media.

Richard Ruiz, Searchlight’s director of development, and creative executive Cornelia Burleigh will oversee the project on behalf of the studio. The film’s writer and director are yet to be announced.

The original film — directed by Mark Rydell and starring Midler, Frederic Forrest and the late Alan Bates and Harry Dean Stanton — is loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin and considered by many to be the quintessential film about fame and addiction. The 20th Century Fox movie went on to earn four Oscar nominations, including a best supporting actor nod for Forrest and a best actress nod for Midler, the legendary entertainer’s first.

The new movie is not the only remake on Erivo’s upcoming slate — the actor recently wrapped production on Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Pinocchio,” where she plays the Blue Fairy. The performer most recently starred as Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo’s limited series “Genius: Aretha.” Later this year, Erivo will release her debut album “Ch. 1 Vs. 1” as well as her first children’s book, titled “Remember to Dream, Ebere.”

Erivo earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in 2019’s “Harriet,” while simultaneously earning a nod in the best original song category for the powerful ballad, “Stand Up” (shared with Joshua Brian Campbell). The celebrated stage actor’s Grammy, Emmy, and Tony wins came as a result of her powerhouse performance in the leading role of Celie in the musical version of “The Color Purple.”

Erivo is repped by UTA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, ID, and Peikoff Mahan.

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8 thoughts on “Hell Has Frozen Over: Hollywood Is Doing A Remake of “The Rose”

  1. Is this akin to Barbra Streisand’s Esther Hoffman Howard to Judy Garland’s Esther Blodgett? Time will tell…as you so aptly have noted. Whether it happens or not, nothing will ever come close to Bette’s singular tour de force — except, of course, Judy Garland’s in “A Star Is Born.” I spent a long time as a film critic and film writer and for years when people ask me what I consider the greatest female performance I answer without hesitation, “Bette Midler in ‘The Rose.'” I don’t expect that will change.

    1. Thank you so much for writing in to tell me that and I do respect you as a film critic. I always wanted to do something like you, but I dont really understand why I like something I just know its good, great, bad, horrible. And I know people woukd say I was just prejudiced saying I truly believed that Beffe in The Rose was the most thrilling thing I had ever seen. I remember Pauline Kael on Tom Snyder saying hands down that Bette should win for Best Actress. She said I have not heard lines delivered like that in 50 years, Well thats a big chunk of movie performances since this interview was done in 79. She said if she loses shed lose all respect for the Academy. Thats when I started reading about the industry and the politics involved, sentimentality and how well you played the game of networking. I can also tell you times I was disappointed in performances but I rationalized some things, but in truth it wasn’t her performances, it was usually the story or the movie was just bad. All in all, I will never forgive Hollywood not being smart enough to get her great scripts and great directors after The Rose. But im glad she was able to do whatever she did to still establish her as one of the most bankable stars of our time. It was great how she kept relevant for 5 decades whether jumping from movies to concerts to hit albums and songs to TV performances to writing and philanthropy. And the movies she’s made i keep hearing about all these Betfe movies being turned into Broadway musicals. More than any other star I know of. I hope this is readable but you got me excitable lol

      1. “THE ROSE” is the best movie I’ve ever seen. I first saw it at seven years old at a drive-in and it was the beginning of my lifelong obsession with Bette Midler. I went to every Midler film ever released because of its effect on me…but they just never lived up to her film debut. (“DOWN AND OUT” was pretty good.) I don’t believe s remake of ‘THE ROSE’ will even compare to the original rock masterpiece. Now a DVD with any deleted scenes from the otiginal would be amazing.

        1. Yeah, I remained angry at Hollywood for just dropping the ball on her after “The Rose” After seeing that movie countless times I thought she’d get a slew of grade-A scripts, so she ended up grabbing what she could, And I was happy Disney put her on top for a while, but even she expressed her dismay as not being taken seriously, especially almost never given a romantic lead or being a romantic lead. I remember that board meeting was rough to hear about.

  2. Don, My apologies for not circling back sooner to your reply to my comment which I appreciate and found so interesting. I, too, think Hollywood just didn’t know what to do with Bette after “The Rose” which is not surprising. It’s a one of a kind performance that fused every single aspect of her talent. It’s the equivalent of ten home runs and how many times does a movie offer an actor a character like that?

    No part she’s had since has been able to give her a chance to repeat this one of a kind feat. I think she got nearer with “For the Boys” but the Dixie Leonard character sorely lacks the wise cracking humor of Rose and, of course, never truly plumbs the depths of despair either. It’s a picture shaped for two, by default, which it needed to be, not allowing the audience time to see other aspects of Dixie the way we were able to with Rose. I also think “For the Boys” was terribly underrated by critics (and obviously the public, which stayed away in droves). But esteemed critic Jonathan Rosenbaum put it on his Top Ten List that year and it has its other critical defenders (I’m among them).

    But I’m off topic. Back to the one and only Rose. I’m so glad to see you mention Pauline Kael. Her fantastic review of “The Rose” is among her best writing. She really, really got Bette (just as she really got Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl” and “The Owl & The Pussycat”) and her insights are so dead to rights. Bette’s not winning the Oscar, I believe, was another miscarriage of justice and points out, as you noted, the importance of all the backstage nonsense that goes into carrying the day (trade ads, glad-handing, etc.).

    Her film career has had its spotty moments since, true, but which film actor of long standing has not? Have you seen Daniel Day-Lewis in “Nine?” Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” or “House of the Spirits?” Tom Hanks in “Forest Gump?” Cringe-worthy all. But Bette is never less than interesting no matter how much of a dog the film is (“Drowning Mona,” anyone?). And I love that she is always trying new things; different characters; different kinds of parts. She was tremendous in “Coastal Elites” late last year and perhaps, with musicals back in vogue, they’ll actually film “Hello Dolly.” Wouldn’t that be exquisite?!

    Finally — and my apologies for going on at length — about being a film critic…I found it some of the hardest writing I ever did. It’s really, really easy to say why you loved or hated a film. But those movies are rare. The majority are in the “I kinda liked it/meh” category and that’s when the tough part comes in. How to get below the surface and explain your opinion? I did it for 12 1/2 years and after all that time still found myself struggling at times. It’s a deceptively simple art form which very few — Pauline Kael being the supreme example — have the real knack for — IMHO!

    1. Richard, I’m so glad you wrote back. You write so eloquently and I thoroughly enjoyed and agreed with everything you said. We even agreed on, dare I say, Drowning Mona. lol If Bette was not in that movie, I don’t think I would have made it through the whole thing…lol

      1. You’re welcome, Don! Sorry again for the delay. I hadn’t seen “Drowning Mona” in years and thought I’d try it again so I bought a DVD for like $3.00 on Amazon. You are so right…barely made it through, either! Keep up your wonderful site as long as you can, Don. I’ve enjoyed it so much for years as I know so many, many others have.

        1. Thanks so much, Richard. I’m going to keep it up but I think I’m going to scale down on social media. And that will give me time to catch up on some things and to finally start my own photo and video gallery.

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