Barbra Streisand's movie remake of "Gypsy" is back on, with Julian Fellowes, the Academy Award-winning writer of "Gosford Park" and Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning writer of "Downton Abbey" doing the adaptation for Universal, the studio said Tuesday.
Streisand is producing with Joel Silver.
In 2011, The New York Times reported that Silver would be producing the movie for Warner Bros.
Steisand will play the overbrearing stage mother Mama Rose. No director has been announced.
It will be her first musical since "Yentl" in 1983 and her first starring role since "The Mirror Has Two Faces" in 1996. Streisand, who won the best actress Oscar for the 1968 "Funny Girl," most recently played Roz Fokker in 2010's "Little Fokkers."
She has been trying to get "Gypsy" back onto the big screen for more than a decade, and met with Stephen Sondheim and the late Arthur Laurents, who wrote the Broadway version, to discuss the project.
In 1962, Warner Bros. released a version starring Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood and Karl Malden.
Here's Universal's release:
JULIAN FELLOWES TO ADAPT SCREENPLAY FOR STREISAND & SILVER’S GYPSY IN DEVELOPMENT AT UNIVERSAL PICTURES
LOS ANGELES, CA, March 13, 2012—Producers Barbra Streisand and Joel Silver have set Academy Award®-winning writer Julian Fellowes to pen the screenplay adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ Tony Award winning musical, Gypsy, which Ms. Streisand and Mr. Silver are currently developing for Universal Pictures. Ms. Streisand will portray “Momma Rose” in the new version, her first musical film since Yentl in which the Oscar®-winning actress and iconic singer starred, produced, co-wrote and directed in 1983.
Fellowes won the Original Screenplay Academy Award® for Gosford Park and most recently earned the Emmy and Golden Globe for creating and writing the acclaimed miniseries, Downton Abbey. His musical theatre work includes adapting the script for Disney’s stage production of Mary Poppins.
Gypsy has exhilarated audiences on both stage and screen since its first Broadway run in 1959 with Ethel Merman. Since then, the compelling story based on the memoirs of the famous striptease artist, Gypsy Rose Lee, has spawned numerous reincarnations including the 1962 film starring Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood, four Broadway revivals, as well as a made-for-television movie.
A celebrated artist, Streisand has gathered Oscar®, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America and Golden Globe awards, winning Oscars® for both, Best Actress (Funny Girl) and Best Original Song (for her composition of “Evergreen” from her production of A Star Is Born).
Gypsy marks Silver’s first foray into Broadway movie musicals after a career of producing several commercially-successful films including the Lethal Weapon, The Matrix, Die Hard and Sherlock Holmes franchises.