The Producers: According to Variety, Nicole Kidman is dropping out of Mel Brooks' bigscreen adaptation of legit tuner The Producers, so Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane will have to put out a new help-wanted ad for a thesp to play their loopy secretary.

Kidman's reps said Thursday that the actress, currently shooting Bewitched, wouldn't have enough time to rehearse the intricate song and dance routines in The Producers before she heads into her next film, the Oz-set Eucalyptus, opposite fellow Aussies Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush.

A rep for Kidman said Brooks' team was very understanding of Kidman's packed schedule, and the parties made the decision amicably.

The Susan Stroman-directed film, which Universal will release domestically, is skedded to start shooting in February at Brooklyn's new Steiner Studios. Cast includes Lane and Broderick, plus Broadway co-stars Roger Bart and Gary Beach, joined by funnyman Will Ferrell.

In making the pic, Kidman would have reunited with two recent leading men: Broderick (Stepford Wives) and Ferrell (Bewitched). Bart also was in "Stepford Wives."

Kidman was slated to take the role of Ulla, the Swedish bombshell who works as a secretary for Max Bialystock (Lane) and Leo Bloom (Broderick), in the $45 million musical feature.

The busy thesp will wrap Bewitched before the end of the year and head to Oz after the holidays. She also recently wrapped Sydney Pollack-directed pic The Interpreter.

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.