Catherine Zeta-Jones to star in "Cleo"

Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:02am EDT
 
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By Jay A. Fernandez and Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Catherine Zeta-Jones is going back to the boards.

The Welsh actress, who won an Oscar for her supporting turn as the scheming Velma Kelly in "Chicago," is set to star in "Cleo," a period musical to be directed by Steven Soderbergh.

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 is developing a Liberace biopic, with Zeta-Jones' husband Michael Douglas attached to star.

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

Zeta-Jones has the romantic comedy "The Rebound" coming out in January. She was in theaters last year with "No Reservations." Jackman will be in theaters next month with "Australia."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Catherine Zeta-Jones attends a press conference for the launch of the movie "Death Defying Acts" in Sydney March 10, 2008. REUTERS/Patrick Riviere</p>