Saturday, September 21, 2013
Liza with a Z Is Norma with an N
[T]he iconic Liza Minnelli officially announced the news; she is finally taking time off from the concert stage, to begin work on what she calls 'the role of a lifetime'; Norma Desmond in "Sunset Blvd".
Back in 2003, after making her comeback from brain encephalitis and various addictions, Andrew Lloyd Webber approached her for consideration of the 'Norma' role. However, due to a relapse, a divorce and various other commitments, Minnelli was unable to follow through. There was talk amongst the theatre and film community that Lloyd Webber would move forward with the project anyhow, instead replacing Liza with Glenn Close as Norma Desmond.
Fortunately, due to possibly divine intervention of some kind, Andrew Lloyd Webber and producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan made the decision to hold off on production until Minnelli became available. And that time seems to be now. Zadan and Meron, known for their major success with bringing musicals like "CHICAGO" to the silver screen, are the leading producers on 'Sunset', and were the first to bring Liza the idea. Meron says "Anyone who knows Sunset Blvd. knows how perfect Liza Minnelli is for the role of Norma Desmond. There's no doubt in my mind that Liza's maturity and life experience have brought her to the ideal level to conquer such a challenging role as this, not just vocally but psychologically. This will surely be Liza's greatest work since "Cabaret".
When asked about who Liza will be starring with in the film, Craig Zadan implied that there will be another Broadway icon in the film, and that within the month of October the casting of the leading man will be made public. Filming is set to begin in January 2014, and Clint Eastwood is currently signed on to direct. So far, this is looking like a movie musical worth writing home about!
Initially, Hugh Jackman was approached to star in the William Holden role from the Billy Wilder film. As Sunset is currently in pre-production, not many more details are immediately forthcoming. But this is shaping up as a movie event to definitely look forward to.