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Zeta - project delayed by weak dollar?

Mar 12 2005

Hannah Jones, Western Mail


CATHERINE ZETA-JONES'S Welsh movie project has reportedly been delayed and could be in trouble.

The Swansea-born actress is expected to co-produce and star in Coming Out, a film set at a rugby club in her native Wales.

But the US dollar's weakness against the pound is causing problems for the movie as the budget is in dollars.

The shooting schedule, which was due to begin this month, has been pared down to just 42 days, according to reports.

The Hollywood Oscar winner's agents are also said to be putting the boot in as her earnings would be nothing compared to the multi-million-dollar deals she can now command.

But Zeta-Jones is keen to keep it an independent production, rather than risk losing control by teaming up with a studio.

She has already been working on the project for six years and will co-produce it with her brother.

The film is set to starAlan Cumming as a gay cabaret performer, forced to lead a struggling Welsh rugby team to victory after his father dies.

But Cumming was recently quoted as saying the film was "in some kind of limbo", adding he did not know if it would ever get made.

Despite delays the movie is already being compared to John Ford's 1941 Welsh coal mining film, How Green Was My Valley, which won five Oscars and has been described as a masterpiece.

Coming Out will be one of the first feature films embarked on by Milkwood Films, the production company set up by Zeta-Jones and her brother Lyndon Jones.

The idea behind the movie came from her sibling, who wrote the initial outline while his sister was making the blockbuster Entrapment with Sean Connery.

Despite some set-backs, director Joel Zwick is confident it will be Welsh through and through.

"We'll make it with Welsh actors," he told the New York Post.

"How's Alan Cumming, Christian Bale and, since it's a musical - Tom Jones?

"And with Catherine starring in it, how's Sir Anthony Hopkins playing her father?"

Hmm, all very laudable but Cumming hails from Perthshire!

When Catherine-Zeta Jones does become a film producer, and a new comedy drama called Rachel's Holiday has also been announced in which she's supposed to star and direct, she won't have far to look for advice.

Husband Michael Douglas, already a big-name actor around the globe, is also one of the world's most respected and high-profile film producers.

Douglas has been producing films since 1975 and he even won an Oscar for his first outing with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

He also produced the romantic comedies The Jewel of the Nile and Romancing the Stone, in which he also starred.

Some of his other production credits include Rain Man, The China Syndrome, The Rainmaker and Face/Off.


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