Daniel Day-Lewis is in talks to star in "Nine," the musical Rob Marshall is directing for the Weinstein Co.
Day-Lewis would play the role of Guido Contini, replacing Javier Bardem, who dropped out of a planned fall start, stating he was exhausted from work and awards season. The role is a famous film director who experiences personal and creative crisis while trying to balance all the women in his life.
Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench will play the women.
The original stage musical was inspired by the Fellini film "8½"; Michael Tolkin adapted the screenplay, and Anthony Minghella turned in a rewrite before he died.
The film is being produced by Marc Platt, with Marshall and John DeLuca also involved in producing capacities.
Landing Day-Lewis is a coup for Harvey Weinstein, whose first association with the actor came when Weinstein's Miramax Films acquired distribution rights to the 1989 Jim Sheridan-directed film "My Left Foot."
While actor and distributor clashed over the marketing, Day-Lewis later credited Weinstein with gaining notice for a small Irish film that might otherwise have disappeared.
Day-Lewis won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of Christy Brown, who fought through cerebral palsy to become a noted writer. He won his second Oscar this year for "There Will Be Blood."
A TWC spokesman denied that a lead had been set: "Any of the names being thrown around is pure conjecture, and when we're ready to make an announcement, we'll let you know."