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Barbra Streisand's Gypsy Back on With Downton Abbey Writer

Barbra Streisand's Gypsy Back on With Downton Abbey Writer

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Julian Fellowes, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for TV's Downton Abbey, will write the screenplay for the much-discussed remake of Gypsy starring Barbra Streisand as Mama Rose.

Julian Fellowes, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for TV's Downton Abbey, will write the screenplay for the much-discussed remake of Gypsy starring Barbra Streisand as Mama Rose.

Fellowes, also an Oscar winner for the screenplay for 2001's Gosford Park, has been hired by Streisand and fellow producer Joel Silver, who are developing the project for Universal, according to a press release.

Gypsy, a Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents about the ultimate stage mother and her daughter who grew up to become stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, is a perennial favorite for musical fans. It was previously filmed in 1962 with Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood and remade for television in 1993 starring Bette Midler. The role of Mama Rose, who sings such legendary songs as "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Rose's Turn," is considered by many the most challenging role in musical theater.

The hiring of Fellowes is exciting news for Streisand enthusiasts as last March, Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book for the original 1959 musical and who collaborated with Streisand on two other projects, gave an interview saying the film was unlikely to happen. Laurents died in May of last year. The remake will mark Streisand's return to film musicals after a nearly three-decade absence. Streisand directed, produced, and starred in 1983's award-winning Yentl. The veteran performer won an Academy Award as Best Actress for her film debut in the 1968 musical Funny Girl after having starred in the Broadway and London productions. Fellowes previously adapted the script for the stage version of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins.

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