A spokesperson for Kidman confirmed to Playbill On-Line that the actress felt she would not have enough time to rehearse the movie musical due to her shooting schedule for "Eucalyptus," which she will film on location in Australia with Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush. "The producers of The Producers graciously and amicably agreed to let her out [of her contract]," said Kidman's spokesperson. Kidman is currently filming "Bewitched," which wraps just before Christmas.
No replacement has been named for Kidman, who was set to play Ulla, the buxom secretary originated on Broadway by Tony Award winner Cady Huffman.
Nicole Kidman, who received an Academy Award for her work in "The Hours," was also nominated for her role in "Moulin Rouge." The actress made her Broadway debut in The Blue Room. Kidman's other screen credits include lead roles in "Cold Mountain," "The Others," "Eyes Wide Shut," "Malice," "Far and Away," "Dead Calm" and "Days of Thunder."
"The Producers" is set to begin filming in February 2005 at the new Steiner Studios, located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The new facility was specially built to accommodate Hollywood-style productions.
The upcoming movie musical will co-star Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, re-creating their stage roles for the silver screen. Directed by Susan Stroman, the "Producers" cast will also include Will Ferrell as Franz Liebkind, Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia and Gary Beach as Roger De Bris. The original 1968 "The Producers" film about a conniving producer starred Zero Mostel as producer Max Bialystock and Gene Wilder as Leo Bloom. Others in the cast included Kenneth Mars as Franz Liebkind, Renée Taylor as Eva Braun, Christopher Hewett as Roger De Bris, Lee Meredith as Ulla and Andréas Voutsinas as Carmen Giya. Mel Brooks won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for "The Producers," and Gene Wilder was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
The Broadway production of The Producers plays the St. James Theatre, 246 West 44th Street.