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R.I.P. Arthur Laurents

By | Thursday May 5, 2011 @ 4:54pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Arthur Laurents, one of the great Broadway writers and directors and best known for West Side Story, Gypsy and the film The Way We Were, has passed away. He was 93 and died in his sleep. Despite his age, he most recently was involved in making a deal with Universal and producer Joel Silver for a movie adaptation of Gypsy, with Barbra Streisand starring in her dream role. Laurents wrote the book, and Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics. We will provide more information as it comes in.

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Barbra Streisand’s ‘Gypsy’ Movie Dead? Then Why Is Universal Finalizing A Deal?

By | Monday March 21, 2011 @ 10:31am PDT
Mike Fleming

While a litany of trade reports over the weekend pronounced dead a movie adaptation of Gypsy that was to star Barbra Streisand, I’m told don’t dress for the funeral just yet. The project is very much alive. In fact, a deal is close to being made at Universal Pictures, with Joel Silver producing. Streisand’s still in as Rose and so are book writer Arthur Laurents and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Those reports were based on an interview that Laurents did with a Hartford Courant blogger, in which the book writer proclaimed he was withdrawing permission because he and Sondheim decided they didn’t want a movie. I think they’ve changed their minds. Multiple sources said that the deal that’s closing gives the show creators a strong say over the screenwriter, director, choreographer and who’ll play the roles of Herbie and Louise. Warner Bros retains the rights to be co-financier after it rejected a deal that would have granted those same approvals to heirs. In the same article, Laurents is also quoted as saying that The King’s Speech helmer Tom Hooper was keen to direct, but I’m told that isn’t in the cards, either. Babs also won’t direct. Is this important? Well, some of the sites that picked up the story are surmising that that gays will be throwing themselves out windows because they won’t get to see Streisand in the iconic Gypsy. That’s silly. Of greater concern to me is the slippery … Read More »

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In Other Film Deals…

Mike Fleming

New York Post’s theater columnist Michael Riedel broke a story this morning about Barbra Streisand’s formative plans to star in and direct a screen adaptation of the musical Gypsy. The New York Times’ rival theater guy Patrick Healy has confirmed his report, and expanded it. He says Streisand won’t direct, only star in the arrangement she has reached with Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. The rights are with Warner Bros, which made the original film, and NYT asserts Joel Silver will be the producer.

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