EXCLUSIVE: Rose Hovick has been called the ultimate stage mother, immortalized in the classic musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable, based on the memoirs of one of Hovick’s two performing daughters, Gypsy Rose Lee. Now HBO Films is looking to tell Hovick’s true story beyond the musical fable with Madame Rose, a movie in development, which has Adam Shankman (Hairspray) set to direct and executive produce.
Written by Tristine Skyler, Madame Rose is based on the life story of Hovick, the indomitable mother of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and actress June Havoc, who would do anything to advance her daughters’ career in show business. Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot are executive producing via their company Offspring Entertainment. The project is expected to draw top talent for the title role, which has been played in Gypsy‘s stage productions and movie and TV adaptations by such actresses as Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Rosalind Russell, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Betty Buckley and Bette Midler. Skyler, repped by CAA, Echo Lake Management and James S. Adams, wrote the horror thriller Innocence, slated for a summer 2014 release. Shankman and Gibgot, repped by UTA and Bloom Hergott, are currently in preproduction on New Line’s Mean Moms, eyeing a summer start.