Posted on 21 October 2009.
Daniel Day-Lewis notched the Best Actor award at the Oscars for his triumphant performance in There Will Be Blood. It appears his next role will certainly have that kind of Oscar buzz again with his follow-up, Nine. This will be the third major film this year to feature the word nine in the title, which is District 9 and 9. This Nine will be a musical adapted from the 1982 Tony Award-winning play of the same name. The play is derived from a book written by Arthur Kopit and Mario Fretti, which is a loose remake of Federico Fellini’s 8½. The original Broadway play starred the late actor Raul Julia (The Addams Family) and netted five Tonys, including Best Musical.
The story is somewhat similar to 8½ and will star Day-Lewis as Guido Contini, a director who’s just turned 40 and has hit a creative slump. He is trying to complete his next project, but his romantic entanglements have halted his process. With the pressure of finishing his movie, he must balance his relationship with his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard, Public Enemies) and his mistress Carla (Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona). He must also deal with his lead actress Claudia (Nicole Kidman, Australia), his costume designer Liliane (Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal), journalist Stephanie (Kate Hudson, Fool’s Gold), a prostitute from his past La Saraghina (Stacy Ferguson, Planet Terror) and his mother (Sophia Loren, Two Women).
Rob Marshall directs Nine and this will not be his first musical. He also directed Chicago, which ended up winning Best Picture at the Oscars in 2002. The late Oscar winner Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) and Michael Tolkin (The Player) provided the screenplay.
I thought Day-Lewis was genius in There Will Be Blood and can’t wait to see how he’ll follow it up. I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, although I do have exceptions with Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd. I also thought Fellini’s 8 ½ was very overrated, but having the similar story in musical format may actually make it an entertaining watch. I liked Marshall’s Chicago, and having him as director will benefit it greatly. We’ve already featured the film in our Oscar Bait post and the film should be successful in the box office, considering musicals have made a comeback in recent years.
Nine will be released in New York and Los Angeles on December 19th, followed by a wide release on Christmas.