'Nine' seduces Kidman, Dench


Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench might soon be dressing up to the "Nine."

The Oscar-winning pair are in talks to join Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Sophia Loren in Rob Marshall's adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical.

The 1982 show, itself an adaptation of Federico Fellini's autobiographical opus "8 1/2," revolves around a film director (Bardem) juggling the demands of several women in his life.

The Weinstein Co. project was slated to begin principal photography in March but was postponed when the late writer-director Anthony Minghella didn't have enough time to rework Michael Tolkin's screenplay before the WGA strike. Extra work was needed to coordinate the choreography and Maury Yeston's music and lyrics with a new draft. The film is now tentatively scheduled for a September start.

Kidman is due to give birth in the summer, giving her several months of maternity leave before the film's proposed start date. Her filming also might be scheduled in the latter part of the shoot.

Plenty of people are familiar with Kidman's singing and dancing chops from "Moulin Rouge," but far fewer are aware of Dench's extensive musical theater experience. She played Sally Bowles in the original London production of "Cabaret" in 1968, and won the 1995 Olivier Award for best actress in a musical in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music."

Kidman is repped by CAA. Dench is repped by Julian Belfrage & Associates and manager Gene Parseghian.