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Streisand Taps Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes To Do Gypsy Screenplay

Barbra Streisand has been threatening to do a screen remake of Gypsy for so long she was originally planning on playing Louise (We kid, we kid.)

But now it looks like she and co-producer Joel Silver (The Matrix, Die Hard) are finally moving ahead with the project—and they’ve tapped Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to write the screenplay.

Has Downton Abbey-mania really gone this far?

Actually, it’s not that much of a stretch: Fellows previously adapted the script for Disney’s wildly successful stage production of Mary Poppins.

Streisand is still intending to play Mama Rose, the part most recently brought to stage by the divine Patti LuPone. Hey, since Fellowes is on board, why not Hugh Bonneville as Herbie?

What do you think? Who would you cast in the film version of Gypsy?

Photos: Allan Warren, Eight O’Clock Theater

On:           Mar 14, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • iDavid

      It would b a hard push to outdo Natalie Wood, but Natalie Portman would be a definite shoe in. Meryl Streep for Rosalind Russel’s part as mom. Those are the only two that I think could possibly outwax the original, with hesitation at that.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chopsie

      Whoever else is in it, they’ll be hand-picked by Babs.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein

      Mama Rose: A pushy, domineering delusional woman who will stop at nothing to get her way. way. Babs scarcely need ask “What’s my motivation?”

      I’m really loving Katherine McFee on “Smash.” She’d make a very good Louise.

      Miley Cyrus for Baby June, nad of Course David Burtka for Tulsa.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • steve

      Streisand as Rose seems to be a little strange casting, but so was Rosalind Russell. She can definitely sing the score , and I’m sure will be absolutely devastating in “Rose’s Turn”. For Louise? my guess is it will be Lea Michelle.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael

      Two thoughts: First–um . . . the stage Mary Poppins was “wildly successful”? It made money on it Its name recognition with family audiences; critics never bought it, and the whole thing seemed kind of souped-up but banal–more conventional family drama than fantasy. And is Julian Fellowes, a Brit, going to capture the purely American vulgarity and drive of this story? Second, it’s actually important to the musical and emotional effect of Gypsy that Rose have a big, loud, dominating voice–if possible. It was written to exploit the abilities of Ethel Merman, and the forcefulness of the character has to be there in the sound. The comedy of Have an Egg Roll, Mr. Goldstone as much as the threat of Everything’s Coming Up Roses depend on it. Of course, it’s been done with lesser voices–Tyne Daly–but it can’t be ideally effective that way. So when aging divas take it up, it really matters that the voice is still in shape. This was a question with Bernadette Peters; I thought it actually undermined Bette Midler’s version (her voice sounded really shot). How exactly is Babs doing at belting these days?

      Mar 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob

      Babs should do ‘Sunset Boulevard’ instead. She would be a fabulous Norma Desmond.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ruddigore

      Does Barbra realize that things are filmed in high definition these days? She can’t do the Lucy in Mame super soft focus, Vaseline on the lens for every close-up thing. And at least Lucy was only in her 60’s when she filmed Mame. Barbra will be 70, and people are expected to believe that she had given birth to Baby June.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Farquart

      Jason Alexander as Herbie. Lee Michele as Louise.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LittIeKiwi

      Babs should direct, not star. talented woman who sings like a bird who is, alas, DECADES too old for the role.

      and aim for a realism no version has ever had – make the dancing boys kinda mediocre. mediocre with tulsa being the lone standout. as if she found her performing kids on the road, taught ’em what she could, but couldn’t make Trained Dancers out of ’em.

      the story has always been told in glossy fashion – a true dusty back-stage look at the vaudeville world could be astonishingly interesting. if she opts for a high-gloss take – do it oldschool: backlots, soundstages, and play up the theatricality like a 1950s musical.

      find an unknown to play Louise. a plain-jane who cleans up beautifully. don’t cast a “star” in a star-making role.
      or else cast Anna Kendrick.


      Mar 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff

      James as Herbie, Jason as Louise.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid

      RuPaul for Rose.

      Mar 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keiffer

      Catherine Zeta-Jones as Miss Mazeppa, Queen Latifah as Electra, & Renee Zellweger as Tessie Tura.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 2:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • loafersguy

      It’s the part that Streisand was born to play….30 years ago. I’ll stick with the Rosalind Russell version:

      Mar 15, 2012 at 8:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein

      Lea Michele’s a good idea for Louise.

      And come to think of it Darren Cruss would make a great Tulsa.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael in Toronto

      Why Lea Michele, fer chrissakes???

      The whole point is that Louise has no talent, certainly can’t sing.

      And the only interesting thing about Lea Michele is her VOICE.

      Note to Barbra: if you had done this 30 years ago, amazing. Now? I don’t think so.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair

      Babs voice just doesn’t seem right for this, too sweet. And she’s too old. That legendary ego is playing tricks with her judgement. I can’t imagine anyone getting close to La Rosalind.
      Natalie Wood was more beautiful than anyone in town these days. Hollywood’s taste in women, and men, has gone downhill at a fever pitch.
      Please, Babs, don’t mess with the classics. At any rate, I would never watch it. It’d be like the remake of True Grit, which I’ve also never seen.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greybat

      @Ruddigore: So don’t use Hi-Def. There are plenty of other types of film to use. It’s a film about a time that has nearly passed out of living memory, so a nickleodeon or silver nitrate effect might be quite beautiful, and since color is quite important to the story, a hand-colored film effect could be achieved with the right sort of gels and filters.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vince

      To those who doubt Barbra: You don’t know what you’re talking about. She doesn’t look her age and her voice is still an instrument of wonder. Hardly anyone who did Gypsy was a real singer and Roz’s singing was dubbed! Don’t underestimate the Goddess!

      Mar 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff

      @Vince: Patti LuPone – Bernedette Peters – Ethel Merman- not real singers? or did you mean the supporting cast in the movie were not real singers? Much as I Love Barbra, she is/will be 70 – Rose is/was considered to be about 40 – Babs don’t look that good and try as I might I just can’t see her as Mama Rose.

      Mar 15, 2012 at 6:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist

      We have two Gypsy movies already. As much as I love this show and both the existing films, aren’t there other musicals without film versions that deserve a shot? Barbra would have been good 20 years ago when Bette Midler did it.

      Mar 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephanie Rossi

      I’m really loving Katherine McFee on “Smash.” She’d make a very good Louise.

      Miley Cyrus for Baby June, nad of Course David Burtka for Tulsa.

      The strippers Probaly Joyce DeWitt as Electra, Suzanne Somers as Tessie Tura and Nancy Dussault as Mazeppa

      Mar 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephanie Rossi

      Tony Danza as Herbie (and he’s the boss)

      Mar 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephanie Rossi

      Maybe Tina Fey as Miss Cratchitt

      Mar 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darby

      Well…we saw her destroy Hello Dolly…why not Gypsy too? Later on she’ll be playing Don Quixote in La Mancha…

      Someone tell this old bag of bones that there ARE other people on this planet…and ones with greater talent. Retire Babs….your 15 minutes were up YEARS ago…..

      Apr 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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