WB pic's delay leads thesp to White Way

This article was corrected on Feb. 19, 2003.

Ashley Judd will make her return to Broadway this fall as Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Two years ago, Judd got her claws firmly in the “Catwoman” role, a character originated by Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992’s “Batman Returns.” But Warner Bros. delayed greenlighting the pic until it had a script.

Now Judd has sparked to the chance to do Broadway when producer Bill Kenwright and director Anthony Page made plans to transport their London revival of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to the Great White Way. She starred in “Picnic” on Broadway nearly a decade ago. Her WMA agents made the play deal, telling WB that if schedules conflicted, she’d be scratched from “Catwoman.”

As luck (or lack thereof) would have it, Warner got a strong rewrite of the John Rogers script by the team of Mike Ferris and John Brancato, who rewrote Tedi Sarafian on “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.” With director Pitof at the helm, WB set a start date of late summer or early fall.

The studio has made an offer to Oscar-nominated “The Hours” star Nicole Kidman. She’s no stranger to the Batman universe, having played an unrelated character who romanced Bruce Wayne in “Batman Forever.”

Kenwright and Page, who launched the London revival of the Tennessee Williams play with Frances O’Connor, Brendan Fraser and Ned Beatty in the major roles, are already casting for Broadway. Mark Ruffalo is among the actors mentioned to play Brick. Beatty, who got glowing reviews in London for his portrayal of Big Daddy, is likely to bring that performance to New York.

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