Universal’s announcement today that Barbra Streisand’s Gypsy is going forward with Oscar- and Emmy- winning writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, Downton Abbey) assigned to adapt the musical is stirring much Internet talk (and chatter among Deadline commenters). They say Streisand is just too old to take on the iconic role of Rose, the bigger-than-life stage mother of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. But with her landmark 70th birthday looming on April 24th, Streisand knows it is now or never. And with a potential hit comedy — The Guilt Trip co-starring Seth Rogen — scheduled for release by Paramount on November 2nd, her movie career is on an upswing, and she probably feels the time is right for one last, hopefully great, screen musical and the one iconic stage musical role she’s never played. No word yet on who will direct, but it’s not likely to be Streisand — although that would be interesting. She hasn’t directed a musical since Yentl in 1983 or a movie since The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996.
The part is so strong it could be major awards fodder, a thought probably not lost on Streisand, who has won two Academy Awards (Best Actress for Funny Girl in 1968 and as co-writer of 1976’s best song, “Evergreen”, from A Star Is Born) but has only been Oscar-nominated twice for her acting and not since 1973’s The Way We Were. (more…)