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Zeta-Jones Withdraws from Marshall's 'Nine' Movie Musical
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Monday, November 19, 2007; Posted: 11:23 AM - by BWW News Desk

NY Daily News reports Catherine Zeta-Jones has withdrawn from the cast of Rob Marshall's up-coming film adaptation of the musical Nine. Zeta-Jones was originally slated to appear as Claudia, the luscious star and muse to on-screen director, Guido Contini.

The article states: "The strong-willed actress won't be in the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical allegedly because director Rob Marshall wouldn't give in to her demand to beef up her role...Marshall is said to have politely told her the script couldn't be changed so dramatically."

In September, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette had announced: "For his upcoming film of the musical Nine, Rob Marshall confirmed that the star around whom all revolves will be Javier Bardem. Penelope Cruz will be his mistress; Marion Cotillard (of La Vie en Rose), his wife; Catherine Zeta-Jones, the luscious star, Claudia; and Sophia Loren, his mother... Rob says an unbelievable array of Hollywood names were willing to do the unthinkable and audition, to show their musical chops."

Nine revolves around one central character, Guido Contini, a film director in the Fellini mold. He is contracted to write and direct a film, but is unable to come up with a suitable plot. After recent box office failures, he finds himself drifting towards a nervous breakdown. Guido finds himself examining his past flawed relationships with the many women who have come through his life and the struggle to act his mature age of 40 as opposed to nine.

The film version is adapted by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and novelist Michael Tolkin, with original music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and original book by Arthur Kopit. Kopit and Yeston are both executive producers of the up-coming film. Academy Award-winning director Marshall and Weinstein last worked together on Chicago via Miramax films. Nine will be produced by Marshall and John DeLuca and choreograped by the pair, as well.

Bardem's many Spanish screen-credits include Goya's Ghosts and The Dancer Upstairs. His latest film-projects are Love in the Time of Cholera and the Coen Brothers' No Country of Old Men, adapted from the Cormac McCarthy novel. Cruz has appeared in Volver, Vanilla Sky, and Blow. Cruz and Bardem are currently working in Woody Allen's next film. Cotillard made her break-through performance this summer as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.

Nine, set in Venice, Italy in the 1960s, debuted on Broadway in 1982, and won several Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Direction (Tommy Tune), Best Original Score (Yeston), Best Featured Actress (Liliane Montevecchi), and Best Costumes (William Ivey Long).

The 2003 Tony Award-winning Best Revival featured Antonio Banderas and Chita Rivera, with Jane Krakowski (2003 Best Featured Actress in a Musical), Laura Benanti (The Wedding Singer) and Mary Stuart Masterson, among others.

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