Madonna plays ‘Chicago’

Apparently not yet tired of bringing Broadway musical roles to the bigscreen, “Evita” star Madonna has signed to star alongside Goldie Hawn in Miramax Films’ screen adaptation of “Chicago.”

Madonna will play Velma Kelly, the tough jailmate of Hawn’s character Roxie Hart. The casting had been anticipated (Daily Variety, April 18).

Miramax acquired screen rights to “Chicago” several years ago, before the revival of the Bob Fosse, John Kander and Fred Ebb musical became a Broadway smash (winning six Tonys Sunday). The film, which was scripted by Larry Gelbart, will be produced by Broadway veteran Marty Richards, whose credits include “The Life,” which took home a pair of Tonys.

Miramax is one of several studios Richards has been talking to about a screen version of “The Life.”

“It goes without saying that Roxie and Velma are two of the greatest roles ever written for musical actresses, and with Goldie, Madonna and the great Marty Richards on board, this promises to be one heck of a ride,” Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said.

A director for “Chicago” will be announced shortly, Miramax said. Meryl Poster, executive vice president of production, will be the Miramax exec in charge of the production.

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