Film Take on Musical Nine Delayed Due to Strike; Minghella to Polish Script

News   Film Take on Musical Nine Delayed Due to Strike; Minghella to Polish Script Rob Marshall's upcoming film version of the Broadway musical Nine has been delayed due to the ongoing writers' strike.
Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall

A representative from The Weinstein Company, which will produce the forthcoming Marshall movie musical, confirmed to Playbill.com that production has been halted due to the current strike.

Michael Tolkin ("The Player," "Deep Impact") adapted the musical for the screen. Anthony Minghella will be polishing up some of the writing as soon as the strike is resolved.

Javier Bardem ("Before Night Falls," "The Sea Inside") will fill the central male role of Guido. The women who haunt him will be Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose," "Love Me If You Dare") as wife Luisa, Penelope Cruz ("Vovler," "Vanilla Sky") as mistress Carla and Sophia Loren ("Man of La Mancha," "El Cid") as his mother.

Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Chicago," "The Legend of Zorro") was in talks to play Guido's muse Claudia in the Hollywood remake, but will not be part of the film.

* Inspired by Federico Fellini's "8-1/2," Nine features a score by Maury Yeston and libretto by Arthur Kopit. The work centers on an Italian director who is haunted by the many women in his life just as his career is in jeopardy. The Weinstein Co. will produce the Lucamar Productions film. John DeLuca will choreograph with Marshall.

"It's a gorgeous score, and we're reworking it for film, so it's really a new book," Marshall previously explained to Playbill.com columnist Harry Haun (Aug. 19). "I've been working on it since the beginning of the year. We'll probably be shooting next March and, hopefully, come out with it in December '08."

Of casting, Marshall explained, "We've seen probably every feature-film actress in Hollywood for the women. We're casting in New York, in Los Angeles, in London, in Paris and in Rome, so it's been a huge undertaking — and we're still doing it. Sometimes, there are real surprises. It's just like casting 'Chicago' because we don't know what film actors can sing. Sometimes there will be a surprise, and sometimes there'll be a disappointment for someone you really love as an actor and they just can't sing it."

Nine garnered a dozen Tony Award nominations in 1982, including acting nods for stars Raul Julia, Karen Akers, Anita Morris and Liliane Montevecchi — the latter three all in the Featured Actress category. Tommy Tune would take home a Tony for Best Direction as would Yeston for his score, William Ivey Long for his costume design and Montevecchi for her performance. The musical itself would take home the 1982 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Film stars Antonio Banderas and Mary Stuart Masterson starred in the 2003 Broadway revival as the Contini husband and wife with Jane Krakowksi (as Carla), Laura Benanti (as Claudia), Mary Beth Peil (as Guido's mother) and Chita Rivera (as agent Liliane La Fleur). The David Leveaux staging won Krakowski a Tony and took home the Best Musical Revival prize as well.

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