Catherine Zeta-Jones to star in 'Cleo'

Steven Soderbergh to direct 1920s musical

Catherine Zeta-Jones is going back to the boards.

Zeta-Jones, who won an Oscar for her turn as the scheming Velma Kelly in Rob Marshall's "Chicago," is set to star in "Cleo," a period musical to be directed by Steven Soderbergh. Song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman is in negotiations to take a lead role in a retelling of the story of Cleopatra, Antony and Caesar set in the 1920s (also the era of "Chicago's" shenanigans).

Joseph Mankiewicz co-wrote and directed the most famous "Cleopatra," the 1963 historical epic that starred Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton. It was hugely expensive and considered a flop but was ultimately nominated for best picture and won four Oscars.

Soderbergh, repped by Anonymous Content, is now shooting the indie movie "The Girlfriend Experience" for 2929 as part of his six-picture deal with the company. He's also developing a Liberace biopic that Richard LaGravenese is scripting and Jerry Weintraub is producing, with Zeta-Jones' husband Michael Douglas attached to star.

"Cleo" would be Soderbergh's first foray into musical features.

"Che," the director's two-part Che Guevara biopic, will be released by IFC Films, and "The Informant," starring Matt Damon, will hit theaters in March.

Zeta-Jones, repped by WMA, has the romantic comedy "The Rebound" coming out in January.

The Endeavor-repped Jackman has the romantic epic "Australia" releasing next month and reprises his role as Wolverine in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," in theaters in May.
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