Barbra Streisand To Direct Catherine The Great Biopic
Barbra Streisand has signed on to direct a new film about the life of Russian Empress Catherine the Great. The Hollywood veteran is returning to the director’s chair for Catherine the Great, which chronicles the young royal when she was trapped in an abusive marriage with the heir to the Russian throne.
The movie is based on Kristina Lauren Anderson’s script, which won her the top spot on the 2014 Blacklist for Best Unproduced Screenplay. Catherine the Great will mark Streisand’s return to directing after two decades, having last helmed The Mirror Has Two Faces in 1996. She also directed 1991’s Prince of Tides and 1983’s Yentl. Streisand isn’t the only star tackling the Empress’ story. Angelina Jolie optioned the rights to Catherine The Great and Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair by Simon Sebag Montefiore about the Empress’ marriage to Russian nobleman and military leader Grigory Potemkin. The pair married after the murder of Catherine’s husband, Tsar Peter III, in 1762 and they became co-rulers of the Russian Empire. The industry news comes weeks after Streisand’s plans to turn entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee’s life story into a major movie stalled. The Funny Lady star has dreamed of adapting stageshow Gypsy for the big screen for years, and plans to start work on the project with Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes fell flat last month when the project was dropped by studio bosses at Universal. John Travolta revealed he had discussed the movie with Streisand, who was keen to cast Lady Gaga as lead character Louise, who is modeled after Gypsy herself. Reports suggest Streisand hasn’t given up on the project altogether and is seeking another studio to back the musical.