UPDATED: Winslet Replaces Nicole Kidman in ‘The Reader’

UPDATE: Variety has confirmed that Kate Winslet will be the one to replace Nicole Kidman in the lead of the Weinstein Co.’s Stephen Daldry pic The Reader. Gotta say, that’s a major step up… The original article follows:

Stephen Daldry may have just received a blessing in disguise as Nicole Kidman has exited the lead role in The Reader of which Daldry began filming late last year.

Kidman had yet to shoot a scene and left the production due to her pregnancy according to her publicist. Kidman and husband Keith Urban confirmed Monday that they were expecting a baby.

The Reader was to continue filming this month in Berlin and the Eastern city of Goerlitz with Kidman in the lead female role opposite Ralph Fiennes. Word is that production will not be hindered even though a replacement was not immediately named.

The film is an adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s novel about a teen who falls for an enigmatic older woman in postwar Germany. The Weinstein Company is distributing.

Why did I say this may be a blessing for Daldry? Well, Kidman’s box-office draw just isn’t what it used to be in the past and I would hardly consider her an actress that actually puts asses in the seats. One big test will come later this year with Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia which Kidman stars in opposite Hugh Jackman. Like the dismal Invasion neither Kidman or Jackman are bonafide box-office draws so the quality of the film is really going to be put to the test considering the rumored $116 million budget.

My guess is Daldry can find someone better than the pasty white actress, save a little money, and probably churn out a better production. Only time will tell.


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