Shakespeare once wrote: “If music be the food of love, be sure to cut it from your Madame Rose biopic.” Or at least that’s how HBO films read the quote. The company is currently working on a film about infamous stage mother Rose Hovick—already immortalized in the musical Gypsy—that will forgo the music and tell the “true story beyond the musical fable.”
Deadline reports Hairspray’s Adam Shankman will direct and executive produce while playwright Tristine Skyler will pen the script. Titled Madame Rose, the film will follow Rose Hovick’s increasingly desperate attempts to turn her two daughters into show business stars, including never telling her daughters their true ages so as to prolong their careers as child stars. Despite her questionable methods, her daughter June Havoc went on to be a film star while Gypsy Rose Lee became a famed burlesque performer.
Given that “Mama Rose” was an iconic role for the likes of Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, and Patti LuPone, the film will likely draw another big name star for the titular role. Or Shankman can just throw John Travolta back into his Hairspray dress and be done with it.