Rob Marshall and Harvey Weinstein have begun assembling the cast for Nine.
The Weinstein Company is in talks with Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Javier Bardem to star in the musical.
Marshall, who wanted to set his cast early to custom-fit the roles to the strengths of each performer, is also courting Sophia Loren and his Chicago star Catherine Zeta-Jones. Marshall will produce and choreograph with John DeLuca, his partner in Lucamar Productions.
Bardem just got the offer to play director Guido Contini, who experiences a creative and personal crisis as he tries to balance all the women in his life. That includes his wife, mistress, his film-star muse, agent and even his mother. Raul Julia originated the role onstage, and Antonio Banderas played it in the revival. The musical was inspired by the Fellini film 8 ½.
Cruz is in talks to play Carla, Contini’s mistress, while Cotillard is to play his wife, Louisa. Although they have not yet committed, Zeta-Jones is being courted to play the director’s muse, and Loren his mother, who appears as a ghost.
Michael Tolkin is adapting the script, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, the composer and lyricist of the original production. Mario Fratti adapted the original Broadway production; Arthur Kopit wrote the book. TWC acquired rights from Kopit and Yeston, who will be executive producers.