HOLLYWOOD — Barbra Streisand is the total perfectionist. For the past 22 years she’s been trying to find a film to direct. For three decades, she danced around directing Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart,” but couldn’t get a script to work for her. Finally, Kramer regained the rights, and “Glee’s” Ryan Murphy took over directing chores for the HBO movie that stars Jim Parsons, Alec Baldwin, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo.

Then Barbra wanted to direct and star in a remake of “Gypsy,” after its late author, Arthur Laurents, gave her his blessing. Now it’s being said that Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music for the bio of Gypsy Rose Lee, is withholding his permission for Streisand to make the film.

Now it’s said Barbra will direct a film about the tumultuous relationship between former Life magazine photographer Margaret Bourke-White and author Erskine Caldwell, who wrote “Tobacco Road” and “God’s Little Acre.” “Skinny and Cat” was to have starred Oscar-winners Cate Blanchett and Colin Firth, until Blanchett bowed out.

Now the film Streisand will direct is not the “Skinny and Cat” screenplay, but a new script she’s developing herself. If, in any way, she uses anything from “Skinny and Cat,” she will have legal problems to deal with. “Skinny and Cat” probably will start shooting soon with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz. You know there will be more to this story … stay tuned.
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Plans are afoot for a film remake of the George and Ira Gershwin musical “Porgy and Bess.” The show opened on Broadway in 1935 and was made into a film by Samuel Goldwyn in 1959 with Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis and Pearl Bailey. The remake will be “a re-envisioned and updated film version of the iconic opera.”
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Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow will follow the just-released “Iron Man 3” with “33 Dias.” It follows artist Pablo Picasso’s emotional turmoil trying to balance his relationship with artist Dora Maar while painting his mural “Guernica.” Playing Picasso to her Dora is Antonio Banderas; it’ll be out later this year.
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While most of us struggle to make a buck, some of our TV favorites are making a bundle: Blake Shelton pulls in $75,000 on “The Voice,” ($20 million a year), Sofia Vergara is making $21 million a year from “Modern Family,” her Kmart fashion line, and her Covergirl and Pepsi ads, while “NCIS’s” Mark Harmon beats everyone with $500,000 an episode, which translates into $38 million a year. We’ll have more paydays next time, if we can recover from the shock that anyone makes THAT kind of money in TV!

© 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.