According to the New York Daily News, Catherine Zeta-Jones will no longer co-star in Nine, the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, which itself was an adaptation of Fellini's classic film 8 1/2. Zeta-Jones would have played the role of Claudia, "the alluring muse of skirt-chasing director Guido Contini." The reason for the falling out is allegedly -- it's always allegedly with the Daily News -- because director Rob Marshall (the inexplicably Best Picture-winning Chicago) "wouldn't give in to her demand to beef up her role." The script is adapted by Michael Tolkin (The Player), and apparently the creative team wasn't willing to change the story around. A friend of Zeta-Jones told the Daily News "She was never 100% committed to Nine. She had a meeting with Rob. She'd love to work with him again. But she felt she'd done the same sort of role in Chicago. The script wasn't an issue."
Marshall has moved on and is looking for a younger actress to hop in and play Claudia. The list of possibles includes Natalie Portman, Liv Tyler, Keira Knightley, Kate Hudson, and Gwyneth Paltrow. (In what world is Gwyneth Paltrow a reasonable substitute for Zeta-Jones?) The cast of Nine, one of the more attractive bunches of actors in recent memory, features Javier Bardem as Guido, Sophia Loren as Guido's mother, Penelope Cruz as his mistress Carla, and Marion Cotillard as Luisa Contini. Reportedly (another word for "allegedly"), Katie Holmes was "heartbroken" when Marshall turned her down for a role. Who would you guys like to see in the part? We'll keep you posted on how this drama turns out.
Additionally, Variety has announced today that the Weinstein Co. has officially delayed production on Nine due to the script not being ready.