The Weinstein Company and director Rob Marshall have struggled for over a year to get their big-screen rendition of Maury Yeston’s Nine before cameras, and their inability to piece their cast together has cost them dearly. The production is now in talks with its third, would-be leading man, and, oh, what an blow it must be to go from Ewan McGregor to Javier Bardem to, now, Daniel Day-Lewis. At this point, they might as well hold out another few months for a reincarnated, thirty-seven-year-old Marcello Mastroianni.

It’s important to emphasize that Day-Lewis has yet to sign on the line which is dotted, which suggests to me that someone other than his people floated this bit of news to Variety‘s Michael Fleming. If that someone is who I think he is, then Fleming’s item is most certainly an attempt to gain a little leverage through the trades. Whoever would do such a sneaky thing?

Day-Lewis would play Guido Contini, a famed Italian director beset with personal and creative crises as he attempts to conceive of his ninth film. Some might say he’s stuck on 8 1/2. As he muddles through his creative process, he finds himself dealing with the many women in his life. If Day-Lewis gets on board soon, these women will be played by Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench and the great Sophia Loren.

Arthur Kopit’s book for the musical has been adapted by Michael Tolkin. He was subsequently rewritten by Anthony Minghella, whom we dearly miss.