Martine McCutcheon could soon land her second major musical role - playing opposite Antonio Banderas in the Phantom of the Opera. The ex-EastEnders actress is being "seriously" considered for the role which would thrust her into the big time.
According to People News, McCutcheon is keen to show off her highly-rated voice in what would be her first major Hollywood role, but faces stiff competition. Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman have also been rumoured to be up for the part of Christine.
A source is quoted saying: "Martine is keen to keep going with her singing; a musical film would fit the bill."
McCutcheon, 24, is currently starring in the West End musical My Fair Lady, but has been plagued with health problems since it opened a month ago and her understudy is still filling in for half the shows.
But, the Phantom's creator Lord Lloyd-Webber, who is heavily in the film, was fulsome in his praise for McCutcheon at her stage show's opening night. "She's a genuine star and there aren't a lot of them about," he said.
okay. first off, i do remember the rumours flying about martine mccutcheon, and i recall cringing about it... don't you think, though, that if they're having this much trouble casting something, it's a sign not to go ahead with it? the entire thing's like a portent of doom... i used to be at least slightly excited about this film, but as the casting decisions have gone on, i'm starting to dread it more and more...
anyway, back to the artcile: i will accept that martine mccutcheon was at least vaguely suited to the role of eliza (being, well, cockney), but christine? afraid not. no, no, no.
madonna: was very good as evita (despite lots of historical inaccuracies in general, but what can you expect) and would be frelling fantastic as norma desmond (well, maybe not fantastic. passable, at least, and better than barbra streisand, at any rate) but not as christine. she's about 25 years too old, for a start...
j-lo: you've got to be kidding me... the only way it would ever work would be if she was opposite antonio banderas. at least he's out. someone up there is listening.
nicole kidman: of the four listed, she's the only one i'd willingly see in the role, but i'm biased. the only trouble is, while she may have a good voice, she doesn't have the range or the power to play the part because she's not a trained singer; she's an actress who can sing; there's a difference. that, and she said after moulin rouge that she didn't want to pursue a singing career.
apparently, according to another article, kate winslet was also being considered, after lloyd webber heard her single for the last animated version of a christmas carol... and although there's no denying she was brilliant in quills, she is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a christine.
and there's the entire charlotte church saga, of course. wow, if she'd got the part i'd be going on a killing spree...
the apparently decided-upon cast is now listed at the internet movie database, and it seems that gerard butler is definitely going to be the phantom. the other names i don't remember (they're not Big Stars, as was originally anticipated, hence the casting arguments) except that simon callow is up to play andre, one of the managers - that should be interesting. miranda richardson's also mentioned, i think, as madame giry (actually, i can see that working) - so at least it's not going to be as hideous as it could have been.
but still. i'm dreading it. i'm dreading the screenplay (it already has one; it's called a libretto...), i'm dreading the directing (to be done by joel schumacher, who i will only remember as the man who ruined everything tim burton established with the batman films. ugh. batman and robin was horrible.), i'm dreading the cast, and i'm dreading the inevitable absence of songs.
i'm dreading it, but i'm curious as hell, and in all liklihood i'll end up seeing it. there's every possibility i'll enjoy it because it is, after all, phantom; but it'll be like chicago: i'll enjoy it, then i'll rip it apart.
but who knows - they might actually prove me wrong...
oy. i suppose i'd better look at some actual books...