| Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from Chicago. (AFP)
Los Angeles, Feb. 28 (Reuters): How does a film studio top the Oscar-nominated Chicago' Try putting together a movie musical of another popular stage show, Guys and Dolls.
Miramax Films is in talks to do just that, taking the same producing team on Chicago and mounting a new movie version of the hit 1950’s Broadway musical and film based on Damon Runyon’s tale of gambling and love in the Big Apple, a knowledgeable industry source said yesterday.
Miramax is seeking to buy rights for a Guys and Dolls movie to be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who put together Chicago, the source said, adding that while Miramax is near an agreement, a firm deal has yet to be secured.
Zadan and Meron held some rights to the musical, and Miramax is now looking to secure rights to the original Runyon short story on which the musical is based.
A Miramax spokesman declined to comment.
Chicago, which stars Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, has wowed movie fans this year, scoring 13 nominations for Oscars and nearing $100 million at domestic box offices.
Chicago debuted on Broadway in the 1970s and had a wildly successful revival in the 1990s.
It tells a dark tale about a struggling actress (Zellweger) who rockets to fame after killing her lover, and is loaded with singing, dancing and familiar tunes like All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle.
Guys and Dolls, too, is famed for its memorable musical numbers like Luck Be a Lady, and Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.
With music by Frank Loesser, Guys and Dolls was a highly successful Broadway show of the 1950s and made into a movie in 1955 with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons.
Hollywood has been waiting for the film studios to begin cranking out new musicals after the recent successes of Moulin Rouge last year and now Chicago, but two musical hits doesn’t necessarily mean moviegoers are in the mood to sing.
Musicals were a Hollywood staple of the 1940s, but began to fade from popularity in the 1950s.
Over the decades, attempts to revive the cinematic art form have met with mixed success.
The movie also earned a nomination for Renee Zellweger in the best actress category but failed to earn star Richard Gere a nomination in the best actor group.
The director Rob Marshall has also been nominated in the best director category for Chicago. This year’s Oscar ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 23, and will be broadcast live on television from Los Angeles.