Hugh Jackman is no longer in discussions to star with Catherine Zeta-Jones in Cleo, the Steven Soderbergh-directed 3-D live action musical.
According to Variety, no deal had been signed as the ambitious $30 million project is completing its financing, but Soderbergh asked his Traffic star Zeta-Jones to play Cleopatra and wanted new Oscar host Jackman to play her lover, the Roman general Marc Antony.
Discussions are reportedly in the works for the role of Julius Caesar to be played by Ray Winstone, the Beowulf star who just completed shooting the Martin Campbell-directed Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson.
Soderbergh has said he wants to inject the famous historical love story with rock n' roll songs and a style akin to an Elvis musical. The music was written by the indie rock band Guided by Voices, and the script is by the group's former bass player, James Greer, who is also an author.
Jackman's exit is attributed by insiders to scheduling conflicts, though it is not clear what other project is on his plate.
No production date has been set.