Oscar Winner Bardem Withdraws from "Nine" Film; Kidman and Dench May Join Cast

News   Oscar Winner Bardem Withdraws from "Nine" Film; Kidman and Dench May Join Cast
Javier Bardem, who won an Academy Award for his performance in "No Country for Old Men," has withdrawn from the upcoming film based on the award-winning musical Nine.
Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem

Bardem has left the Rob Marshall-directed film due to exhaustion, according to Variety. Bardem, who had been scheduled to play the central role of film director Guido Contini, plans to take a year to "recharge his batteries," according to the industry paper.

No replacement has been named for the actor.

"Nine," based on the Maury Yeston-Arthur Kopit musical, will feature Penelope Cruz (as Carla), Marion Cotillard (as Luisa) and Sophia Loren (as Guido's mother). Variety also reports that Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench are currently in negotiations for the film.

Michael Tolkin ("The Player," "Deep Impact") has adapted the award-winning Broadway musical for the screen. The late Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") was said to be polishing some of the writing. (Minghella had worked with Marshall previously on "Memoirs of a Geisha.")

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, 2007).

The original Broadway production of 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 took home a Tony for Best Direction as did Yeston for his score, William Ivey Long for his costume design and Montevecchi for her performance. The musical itself earned the 1982 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Film stars Antonio Banderas and Mary Stuart Masterson starred in the 2003 Broadway revival as Guido and Luisa Contini 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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