STX Entertainment is exiting its role as distributor and co-financier of Gypsy, the Barry Levinson movie that had Barbra Streisand attached to play the iconic Momma Rose. The move comes less than four months after the studio boarded the musical project, a long-gestating one that it picked up after Universal put it into turnaround last fall after a long development period.
It looks like STX’s exposure grew on this picture, after a major part of the puzzle exited. Sources said that Leonard Blavatnik, the Russian-born financier and producer, was aboard for as much as one-third of the budget, but dropped out. That would have placed STX in a riskier position on a film with a budget north of $50 million. The company is coming off disappointing returns on another adult-themed pic, Free State Of Jones, but there it limited its exposure to under $10 million with a number of partners. STX found a seam and got more encouraging results on its most recent film, Bad Moms, which opened at $23.8M domestically.
The parties had been eyeing a fall start date on Richard LaGravenese’s Gypsy script. Streisand and Levinson and producer Joel Silver will try to set this one up elsewhere. They are all very determined and persuasive people.
Based on the classic musical from Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy tells the story of the loving but iron-willed Momma Rose and her two daughters, who she pushed to become vaudeville stars. Through times of joy, sacrifice and heartache, Rose never stopped chasing the American dream for her family and herself, forging one of her daughters into the burlesque legend Gypsy Rose Lee.
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