The eagerly awaited film of Kander and Ebb's award-winning musical Chicago will make its U.S. debut on Dec. 27 in the top 20 markets. A Miramax spokesperson told Playbill On-Line the "Chicago" film will hit 300 other screens on Jan. 3, 2003 and will "roll out" across the country at a date soon to be announced.
Although the tune "Class" — sung in the stage musical by Mama Morton and Velma Kelly — will not appear in the film, Kander and Ebb have written a new tune for the movie. Entitled "I Move On," the song will be performed by the movie's Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones. A spokesperson for the music division of Miramax confirmed the news, adding that the song will be heard at "the first end title of the film." The soundtrack of the film will be available on the Epic/Sony label on Jan. 14, 2003.
Featuring a star-studded cast led by Renée Zellweger (Roxie Hart), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Velma Kelly) and Richard Gere (Billy Flynn), the "Chicago" company also includes John C. Reilly (Amos Hart), Dominic West (Fred Caseley), Christine Baranski (Mary Sunshine), Queen Latifah (Mama Morton) as well as Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, Lucy Liu, Mya, Marc Calamia, Deidre Goodwin, Sebastian La Cause, Mary Ann Lamb and a cameo from original Chicago star Chita Rivera.
Rob Marshall, the choreographer of Broadway's Kiss of the Spider Woman and the revivals of Damn Yankees, She Loves Me, Cabaret and Little Me, directs the $45 million film, his motion-picture debut. Bill Condon has written the "Chicago" screenplay for Miramax Studios, and the film's cinematographer is Dion Beebe. The Tony-winning lighting team of Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer are the movie's lighting designers. John Kander and Fred Ebb's musical, which features such songs as "All That Jazz," "Mister Cellophane," "Class" and "Nowadays," debuted on Broadway in June 1975 with choreography by the late Bob Fosse and a cast led by Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. The Tony-winning revival opened in Nov. 1996 with Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, Joel Grey and James Naughton in the lead roles. Featuring direction by Walter Bobbie and choreography by Reinking "in the style of Bob Fosse," the musical satire continues to thrill audiences at the Shubert Theatre.