Now, don't confuse John August's The Nines with Rob Marshall and Harvey Weinstein's Nine. The first is an existential out of body experiment about celestials. The second is Chicago director Rob Marshall's latest musical, which he has begun to cast. According to Variety, The Weinstein Company is currently in talks with Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Javier Bardem to star in the long gestating project.

Marshall would like to start casting early, so that he can fit the actor's strengths with their characters. He is also considering casting Sophia Loren and his Chicago star Catherine Zeta-Jones in the film.

Nine will revolve around Bardem's character; play director Guido Contini, who must juggle all of the women in his life while he puts on his masterwork. His lovers include his wife, his mistress, his film-star muse, his agent, and even his mother. The script is based on Fellini's Eight and a Half.

Cruz is mulling over the role of Carla, Contini's mistress. Cotillard will be playing his wife, Lousia. And Zeta-Jones is gearing up to play the director's muse and his mother, who appears as a ghost.

Michael Tolkin is adapting the script, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, the composer and lyricist of the original production. The film will likely go into production early next year for a 2009 release date.