Image c/o Wikimedia Commons



Image c/o Wikimedia Commons
Image c/o Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I write screenplays or the treatments to screenplays. Screenwriting had been the focus of my English major in college, and as a brand-builder and storyteller for all kinds of organizations, it is a skill I continue to rely on today. A little less than a year ago, before I'd learn that Barbra Streisand would soon be releasing her autobiography, I’d fallen asleep with the TV on as Jennifer Aniston was sharing with Jimmy Fallon that she had been taking singing lessons. Later that night, I had a dream in which Aniston was portraying Barbra Streisand, and I woke up and began writing down the scenes from my dream.

Eventually, I fleshed it out, and bit by bit, I now have what follows: a Spotify playlist, a treatment, a synopsis, the beginnings of a cast list (apart from Aniston, I've set a dream cast for most of her male co-stars). Someone put me in touch with Aniston and Streisand. Let’s nail down the rights and make this film or miniseries a reality. 

Before I share the treatment I’ve written, a few strange things have happened in quick succession that spurred me to write and share this today.

Hit Parade

First, a podcast which I listen to, Slate’s Hit Parade with Chris Molanphy, devoted its two most recent episodes to Streisand, and it spurred me to download the audiobook of her biography. I’m 12-hours into the 48-hours of her telling her life’s story, and the way she reads it -- with these delightful asides -- has turned me from someone who has, since his report on Yentl in an 8th Grade World Religions class, greatly appreciated the vastness of her talent, power and influence into a full-fledged Linda Richman-level fan.

SAG Awards

Then, tuning into the SAG Awards on Netflix Saturday, you can imagine my surprise when Jennifer Aniston presented Streisand with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Kismet!

Had I manifested the moment? In returning to this treatment, I Googled and found that in 2010, Aniston had actually posed as Streisand for photographer Mark Seliger in Harper’s (℅ THR).



On Monday, Josh Brolin, Streisand’s stepson, briefly discussed his stepmother’s doting on his children on the latest episode of Smartless, something I discovered an hour after penciling in his name as a bit of stunt casting, which you’ll see below.

Preparing this, I discovered a Variety interview from 2021 (minute 16:50) in which Streisand expresses her wish that a biopic happen “... after I’m gone, not while I’m alive….” 


Below, I’ve included all those late night scribblings from that first night last spring. 


In recent interviews while promoting her film Murder Mystery 2, Jennifer Aniston mentioned that she’s been taking singing lessons. It’s time for a Barbra Streisand biopic. Aniston would be a good stand-in for Streisand.

Title: The Voice Within: The Story of Barbra Streisand

Logline: Jennifer Aniston transforms into the iconic Barbra Streisand in this biopic that charts her rise from a working-class Brooklyn girl to a global superstar, exploring her music, movies, and activism.

SynopsisThe movie opens in 1940s Brooklyn, where a young Barbra (played by a child actor) struggles to fit in with her peers due to her unconventional looks and strong personality. Despite the challenges, she discovers her love for singing and starts performing at local clubs and theaters, honing her craft and developing a unique style that blends Broadway show tunes with jazz and pop.

After graduating from high school, Barbra (now played by Jennifer Aniston) moves to Manhattan, where her first break came in 1960 when she won a talent contest (and dropped the second a from her first name) at a small nightclub in Greenwich Village. The nightclub performances lead to Broadway and onto successful film and recording careers. 

As her fame grows, Barbra juggles her music career with her desire to act, auditioning for Broadway shows and eventually landing the lead role in Funny Girl, which earns her critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Actress. From there, she goes on to star in several hit movies, including The Way We Were, A Star is Born and Yentl, which she also directs and produces.

But Barbra's success is not without its challenges. She faces sexism, ageism and anti-Semitism in the entertainment industry and becomes a vocal advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and political causes. She also grapples with personal struggles, including a tumultuous marriage to actor Elliot Gould.

Through it all, Barbra remains a trailblazer and an inspiration, using her voice and talent to uplift and empower others. The movie concludes with Barbra performing in 2016 at a sold-out concert on her Barbra: The Music, The Mem'ries, The Magic tour, looking out at the audience with a smile and saying, "Hello, gorgeous."

Treatment: This cinematic masterpiece showcases the life and legacy of one of the most iconic performers of our time. Directed by a visionary filmmaker who possesses a deep understanding of Barbra's music and movies, and who can bring her story to life with authenticity and emotion.

The movie would be shot in a combination of styles, from the gritty urban landscapes of mid-century Brooklyn to glamorous Hollywood sets, to capture the breadth of Barbra's experiences. The cinematography would be stunning, with dynamic camera movements, beautiful lighting, and vivid colors in period-correct film stock, to evoke each of the different eras of her career.

The soundtrack would highlight Barbra's classic songs as well as new recordings from Aniston and her co-stars, whose recordings would follow the recent trend of singing live on set using live piano accompaniments played through earpieces recording an orchestral accompaniment in post. This method strives to capture the raw emotion of each scene, with the music acting as a key element of the storytelling, providing a window into Barbra's soul and a connection to the audience.

The script could be written by Richard LaGravenese, longtime Streisand collaborator with his apprentice/co-writer Max Wastler, a talented, if untested, screenwriter who has a deep respect for Barbra's life and work, and who can craft a narrative that is both entertaining and insightful. The script would focus on the key moments of Barbra's life, from her early struggles to her rise to fame, from her personal triumphs to her political activism. It would explore the complex relationships that shaped her life, from her mother to her husbands to her collaborators.

Speaking of political activism, pivotal moments from Streisand's Harvard speech, "The Artist as Citizen" would serve as a crucial focal point for the film's finale. It would highlight Streisand at the peak of her influence, fully embracing her role and impact as an artist and activist.

The casting of Jennifer Aniston as Barbra Streisand would be a stroke of genius, as she has the talent, the charisma, and the emotional depth to bring this iconic figure to life. She would immerse herself in the role, studying Barbra's voice, mannerisms, and style to create a performance that is both authentic and transformative. Jennifer would be supported by a talented cast of actors who would portray the people in Barbra's life, bringing their own perspectives and insights to the story.

The Voice Within: The Story of Barbra Streisand would be a must-see biopic that celebrates the life and artistry of one of the most influential performers of our time. With a powerful script, stunning cinematography, and unforgettable performances, the movie would leave audiences inspired, moved, and uplifted by Barbra's enduring legacy.


Josh Brolin as his father, James
Casting Brolin in a Barbra Streisand biopic would be an intriguing choice mainly because of his real-life connection to Streisand, as she is his stepmother. This unique relationship could add depth and authenticity to the portrayal, leveraging his personal insights and experiences to enrich the character's development and emotional resonance in the story.

Jacob Elordi as Barry Gibb, a compelling choice due to the young Aussie's proven versatility and strong acting skills, which could enable him to capture the unique persona and musical talent of Barry Gibb. Additionally, Elordi's physical resemblance to a young Gibb, with the right styling and makeup, could help visually bridge the gap between actor and real-life musician, making the portrayal more believable and engaging for the audience.

For the role of Elliot Gould, Barbra Streisand's ex-husband, a talented actor and charming, complex individual in his own right, its important to cast someone who can capture Gould's comedic timing and dramatic depth. I would suggest casting Jason Segel for this role, as he has the ability to portray Gould's character with nuance and authenticity.

Additionally, consider actors like Thomas Sadoski and Hamish Linklater. With strong backgrounds in theater and roles in both dramatic and comedic projects, Sadoski and Linklater have demonstrated a versatility that could be well-suited to portraying Gould. Their performances often carry an intensity and sincerity that could effectively convey the more dramatic aspects of Gould's life, while still maintaining the ability to handle lighter, comedic moments.

As for someone to play Nick Nolte, a seasoned actor with rugged charisma, 49 while filming Prince of Tides, I would recommend Tom Hardy. Hardy has proven his ability to tackle intense and multifaceted roles, making him a fitting choice to portray Nolte's personality and presence on screen.

Bryan Adams, the Canadian singer-songwriter and collaborator with Barbra Streisand, could be portrayed by Zac Efron or Glen Powell. Efron has showcased his musical talent in various roles and possesses the charisma and charm necessary to embody Adams' persona. Powell has a charismatic and engaging on-screen presence that could suit the role of a charismatic performer like Adams. His roles have often leaned towards charming and affable characters, which could translate well into portraying a music icon.

As for Jeff Bridges, who starred alongside Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces consider actors like Garrett Hedlund, Ben Foster or Chris Pine, actors who have firsthand experience working alongside Bridges, would be roughly the same age Bridges’ was while filming The Mirror Has Two Faces and possess his laid-back demeanor and rugged charm.

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