Just weeks away from her 71st birthday, Barbara Streisand seems to be doing everything possible to maximize her productivity. In addition to touring and making rare acting appearances in films like Little Fockers and The Guilt Trip, Streisand has been quietly plotting a return to the director’s chair. Last June, news broke that she was preparing Skinny and Cat, the true story of writer Erskine Caldwell’s romance with photojournalist Margaret Bourke White. With Colin Firth and Cate Blanchett on board to star, shooting was scheduled to begin in January, but that date came and went with no updates.
According to Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman, Streisand missed fall meetings for the production due to other obligations and was reluctant to put her commitment in writing. Eventually, unlikely replacement Drake Doremus (Like Crazy) took over, leaving Streisand to develop a second Bourke and Caldwell project elsewhere. According to Friedman, this alternate film is not permitted to reference any material from 30 years of Skinny and Cat script drafts, a limitation that may prove too stifling for Streisand. Meanwhile, both Doremus and Blanchett have dropped out of Skinny and Cat, leaving Firth and Blanchett replacement Rachel Weisz in a fully financed production—without a director.
While Streisand’s career behind the camera is frequently overlooked, her three directing efforts have resulted in no shortage of accolades. Yentl won her a Golden Globe for Best Director, The Prince of Tides earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, and The Mirror Has Two Faces landed actress Lauren Bacall an Oscar nomination and a SAG Award. However, like fellow actor-director Warren Beatty, Streisand has failed to fulfill her promise as a filmmaker because of her indecisiveness and the demands of her other pursuits. If she doesn’t find a new project soon, this seems unlikely to change.