If the woman who brought the world "My Humps" caught your eye, congratulations. You're not functionally retarded. And yet, that list is in fact an up-to-the-minute inventory of the cast of the impending Rob Marshall musical/celeb circle jerk Nine. People, what is this world coming to? When cinematic icons like Sophia Loren and Dame (yes, Dame) Judi Dench -- who between them have enough gold statuettes to melt down and turn into a to-scale facsimile of the Egyptian pyramids -- are condemned to share screen time with a woman who once pissed her pants on stage during a particularly rowdy rendition of "Let's Get Retarded," well, I just don't know what.
New editions of Dirty Dancing and Doctor Zhivago? Finally, the long-awaited bookends to our "romance in times of class struggle" collection! Nobody puts Larissa Feodorovna Antipova in a corner!
More casting has been announced for Rob Marshall's planned big screen adaptation of the Tony-winning musical Nine. According to today's Hollywood Reporter, Judi Dench and Nicole Kidman are reportedly climbing aboard the train. (Dench and Kidman? Three guesses what company is producing the movie and the first two don't count. Hint: The company's namesake rhymes with whinesign. Already cast are Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren and Marion Cotillard, though no word if Cotillard actually will bother to do her own singing this time. Now, I've admittedly never seen a stage production of Nine, based on Fellini's great film 8 1/2 in case you were unaware, but while Maury Yeston's score is fine, this is not a show that screams commercial appeal. Hell, would a re-release of 8 1/2 itself even be profitable? Nine isn't a crowd pleaser such as Chicago and even one that would seem tailor made to be one can land with a thud when it's transferred as poorly as The Producers was. I love movie musicals, but I fear if Hollywood goes crazy making films of ones that seem doomed to fail, they may disappear yet again.
Zap2it is reporting that Javier Bardem has departed the cast of Nine. The film version of the Broadway musical is loosely based on Frederico Fellini's 1963 film, 8 1/2. The No Country For Old Men star is citing "general exhaustion after a year of acting, promotion and the award season gauntlet" as the reason for bowing out of the production. He was to have played Guido Contini in the movie musical.
I'm not familiar with the musical, but if the character is based on Fellini's Guido Anselmi, then the departure may seem somewhat familiar. In the movie, Guido is a frustrated director who encounters pressure from every corner of his life. The opening of the film shows him "escaping" a symbolic traffic jam by simply floating above it. That's an incredibily simplified summary, but the basic idea is probably one that Bardem could relate to.
At the other end of the spectrum, Ewan McGregor recently signed on for another movie, because he had to fill up that dead space between lunch and dinner with something. This time it's a supporting role in the upcoming DaVinci Code sequel, The ReVincining: This Time It's Personal. Actually, it's called Angels & Demons, and he'll be playing Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca, described as a "close aide to the recently deceased pope."
McGregor is so reliably prolific as to be nearly omnipresent. He's in almost everything. I wouldn't be surprised if he showed up in that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants sequel as one of the sisters. Or the pants. If you reached the end of 2004 and felt like something was just a little "off" about that year, it's because no new Ewan McGregor movies came out. Aside from that anomalous year, he has been putting out at least one--and sometimes four or five--movies a year since before Trainspotting brought him to the moviegoing public's attention.
Angels & Demons is expected to begin production this June in Europe, so if McGregor has a spare moment when he's not making another movie, perhaps he could take a muffin basket to the recuperating Bardem.