The feature film remake of the popular Broadway musical Gypsy is back on. Over a year ago we learned that Barbra Streisand was in talks to star in an update of the Tony Award-winning musical from Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, and today it was announced that producer Joel Silver has set Julian Fellowes to write the screenplay for the remake, with Streisand officially onboard to play Momma Rose. The musical is based on the memoirs of burlesque dancer Gypse Rose Lee and centers on Lee’s relationship with her mother, the OG “stage mom” prototype now prevalent in pop culture. Hit the jump for more on Fellowes and Gypsy.
Fellowes is currently enjoying acclaim for creating and writing the highly addictive British TV series Downton Abbey. The show has gained a fervent following in the U.S. (I’m guilty of succumbing to “Downton Fever”’), and is currently in the midst of filming season three. Fellowes won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay for the 2002 drama Gosford Park, and he recently scripted a Titanic miniseries for ITV. On the musical side of things, Fellowes adapted the script for Disney’s stage production of Mary Poppins. I’m not incredibly familiar with Gypsy, but I do find Fellowes’ work highly entertaining so hopefully Gypsy won’t just be for fans of the original musical. Silver knows how to make films that are appealing to mass audiences, so I’m sure they’ll be pulling out all the stops for Gypsy. The musical was previously adapted into a feature film in 1962 with Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood in the leading roles.