'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes Writing Adaptation of 'Gypsy'

Julian Fellowes-Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival-2009
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Barbra Streisand and Joel Silver are backing an adaptation of the famed play and memoir.

Universal has hired Oscar-winning scribe and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to write the adaptation of Gypsy.

Barbra Streisand and Joel Silver (making his first foray into Broadway movie musicals) are producing the feature project, which is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ Tony Award winning musical.

The play and movie is based on the memoir by Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque dancer, and the relationship with her mother, Momma Rose, who has since become the prototype of a "stage mom" in pop culture. It initially hit screens in 1962 with a version that starred Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood.

The new project was initially looking like it was going to be set up at Warner Bros., which made the original movie, but a deal never took and Gypsy quietly made its way to Universal last year.

Fellowes won an Academy Award for Gosford Park. His recent movies include The Tourist, which starred Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, and Romeo and Juliet, which is now in production with Hailee Steinfeld.