Cher joining Aguilera in ‘Burlesque’

Musical will be first movie star role in a decade

In what will be her first movie star role in a decade, Cher is set to join Christina Aguilera in “Burlesque,” a contemporary musical for Screen Gems.

Steven Antin will direct from a script he wrote that was revised by Susannah Grant (Daily Variety, May 4).

Aguilera will play an ambitious small-town Iowa girl with a big voice who comes of age in a neo-burlesque club on Sunset Boulevard that’s run by Tess (Cher), a former dancer who struggles to keep the club open and gives the young girl a chance to shine.

Cher will sing onscreen. While her voice has been heard in many films, “Burlesque” will mark the first time she’ll be seen singing in a film she stars in. Cher last starred in “Tea With Mussolini” in 1999.

Donald De Line will produce. Production begins in November.

Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper said he has been lobbying Cher to make her screen return, and once she said yes, it was a matter of creating room in her busy schedule of touring and performing in Las Vegas.

“She brings a soulfulness and gravitas to this character that will ground the story,” Culpepper said. “The only person who was more excited than I am is Christina.”