Richard to "Gere" Up For Miramax's "Chicago" Film?

News   Richard to "Gere" Up For Miramax's "Chicago" Film?

The cast for the film version of Chicago is taking shape: first Zeta Jones, then Zellweger, and now... Richard Gere. That's right, sexy, silvery Gere is the latest of Hollywood bigwigs in talks to link up with the upcoming musical film of the Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb hit.

Gere would play the character of Billy Flynn, the sleazy lawyer, and Zeta Jones and Zellweger are already confirmed in the roles of Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, a vaudevillian and a chorus girl who commit murders. Aided by their media-manipulating lawyer, Flynn, the murderesses connive a route from Death Row to Easy Street in 1920s Chicago.

Gere would have to sing three musical numbers, Variety reports, but luckily he has some musical background, having starred in a production of Grease in the West End.

Earlier this year, Miramax confirmed production of a film version of the musical Chicago, with director Rob Marshall and a new script by Oscar-winning writer Bill Condon. Since then, there has been a search for an all-star cast.

Chicago has long been a passion project for Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, who has been trying for nearly five years with original stage producer and rights owner Marty Richards to make a film version.

Director Marshall, who was responsible for the ABC musical adaptation of Annie, will make his feature film directorial debut, with Richards and Weinstein producing.

The original 1977 production of the Fosse and Ebb show won two Tony Awards, with Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon in the starring roles. The Broadway revival two decades later won six Tonys, with Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking starring, and the subsequent London production won the 1998 Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production.

— by Theatrenow

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