Variety reports that the singer-actress will co-star in Robert Towen's "Ask the Dust," an adaptation of John Fante's novel. Colin Farrell and Salma Hayek head the cast of the film, which will be shot this summer in South Africa. Menzel, according to the industry paper, will play Vera, "who harbors an unrequited love for the Farrell character Arturo."
A spokesperson for Wicked confirmed that Menzel will miss performances of the hit new musical to film the motion picture, although exact dates have yet to be specified. Menzel, as previously reported, recently extended her Wicked contract through Jan. 2, 2005.
Idina Menzel created the role of Maureen in the original Broadway company of Rent, and her other theatrical credits include the City Center Encores! production of Hair, the Manhattan Theatre Club The Wild Party and the benefit Funny Girl concert.
With a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman and direction by Joe Mantello, Wicked features choreography by Wayne Cilento and plays the Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st Street. The musical recently received 10 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.