According to Variety, Academy Award nominated screenwriter Michael Tolkin ("The Player," "Changing Lanes," "Deep Impact") will pen the screenplay for the movie musical, whose 1982 Broadway source musical was inspired by Federico Fellini's film "8 ½."
Tolkin told Variety that he is an avid fan of Italian post-war cinema, having seen the Fellini films "8 ½" and "La dolce vita" numerous times, and finds that the styles Fellini captured in his films are the same styles that are currently popular among today's younger generation; they simply haven't been exposed to these works on television.
The Weinstein Company will produce the venture, as well as Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit on board as co-executive producers.
Marshall stated that the release of the film is dependent on casting availability, which could mean the difference between a 2008 or 2009 release.
Names bandied about for the film include Demi Moore, Katie Holmes and Marshall's "Chicago" stars Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. No cast has been announced. Based on the semi-autobiographical Fellini film "8 ½," Nine premiered on Broadway in 1982, starring Raul Julia, Anita Morris and Karen Akers. The Tommy Tune-directed production won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In 2003, Broadway saw a revival boasting an all-star cast including Antonio Banderas, Chita Rivera, Jane Krakowski and Mary Stuart Masterson. Directed by David Leveaux and reset in the early 1960s, the revival would win two Tonys, including Best Revival.
Nine centers on Guido Contini, a heralded film director (much like Federico Fellini) who, fearing he is losing his touch, escapes to a Venetian spa for rejuvenation. Blurring the lines of fantasy and reality, the women in Contini's life swirl about him, from his mother, to his wife, to his mistress, all of whom ultimately serve as dangerous distraction and inspiration.