Barbra Streisand is in official talks to play Mama Rose in a film remake of Gypsy, according to The New York Times. The Oscar-winner met with the musical's songwriter Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents—who directed the most recent Broadway revival starring Patti LuPone—about starring in the film, which she was at one point in talks to direct:
Mr. Laurents said that Ms. Streisand would not direct the film; she once wanted to, he said, "but playing Rose is enough to make her happy." Ms. Streisand, who won an Academy Award for best actress in 1968 for the film musical "Funny Girl," has been interested in doing "Gypsy" for many years, Mr. Laurents said, "but now things are serious and a movie is truly in the works." He said that he had suggested Tom Hanks to play the role of Herbie, Rose's love interest and the talent manager of her two daughters, Baby June and Louise. "Barbra loved the idea," Mr. Laurents said.
Asked whether Ms. Streisand, who will turn 69 in April, was too old to play Rose, who is a young mother in the first act of the musical, Mr. Laurents said: "First of all, they can do magic in Hollywood. Second, does it really matter?"
A 1963 film version of Gypsy starred Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood. LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Tyne Daly, Angela Lansbury, and Ethel Merman have all previously played the role on Broadway, while Bette Midler took on Mama Rose in a 1993 TV production.
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