Rob Marshall tuning up Nine

The last time Harvey Weinstein let Rob Marshall near a musical on the screen, the result was a Chicago’s shedload of Oscars, including Best Picture and an acting gong for Renee Zellweger.

So it’s hardly surprising that the Weinsteins, desperate for a little kudos after licking their Grindhouse wounds, would turn to the man who helped them deliver a winning film. And the next project targeted for a little cinema greasepaint? That would be the Tony-scooping tuner Nine.

The plot follows movie director Guido Contini as he preps his next film and tries to juggle the many women in his life, including his wife, his producer, his mistress and his mother. Who happens to be dead, but that apparently doesn’t stop her making his life hell.

Nine originally hit Broadway in 1982 (and more recently, in 2003, with Antonio Banderas in the lead), with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, who has been recruited to perform the same job on the film. "Inspired by Fellini's personal, painful, and beautiful film 8 1/2," Marshall blabbed in a statement, "Nine is a sumptuous and emotional work that translates naturally to the film musical genre because of its seamless relationship between fantasy and reality. Finding another musical to bring to the screen has been quite a journey and I am thrilled that it's Nine. Harvey and I are looking forward to working together again, and I am excited to be taking on this challenging and provocative piece."

Seems that Weinstein’s also quite excited by the idea: “Rob and I have been looking for another musical to make together ever since Chicago and I nearly fell over with excitement when he first suggested Nine. It's a brilliant and timeless masterpiece, and no one can stage sexier or more dynamic numbers than Rob Marshall. Teaming up with him and the tremendous cast he's putting together, will be something we've never experienced before.”

There’s no word on who that “tremendous cast” will be yet, though you’ve got to figure Banderas – who drew raves for his stage performance - might be in with a shot.

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