Entertainment legend Barbra Streisand is in negotiations to direct and star in a new film adaptation of the classic stage musical Gypsy, reports New York Postcolumnist Michael Reidel. Streisand would play Mama Rose, considered one of the most challenging roles in theater. Reidel reports Arthur Laurents, librettist for Gypsy, has given his approval to Streisand, whom he directed in her first Broadway musical in 1961, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, and for whom he wrote the beloved 1973 film romance The Way We Were.
"Barbra and I have been getting along very well now for some time. We've talked about it a lot, and she knows what she's doing. She has my approval," Laurents says.
Asked whether Streisand is willing to tackle the darker aspects of Mama Rose, Laurents says yes. "Barbra and I have had long talks on this very subject," Laurents tells Reidel. "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."
Gypsy was previously filmed in 1962 with Rosalind Russell as Rose, and for television in 1993 with Bette Midler playing the most notorious stage mother of them all. Streisand won an Academy Award for best actress for her 1968 film debut in the musical Funny Girl. Gypsy would mark Streisand's first musical since 1983's Yentl, which she also directed.