James Franco May Be Broadway Bound

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NEW YORK (AP) - A charming drifter and a fading movie star - classic Tennessee Williams characters in search of two players. And the actors to do the job just might be James Franco and Nicole Kidman.

Director David Cromer said Wednesday that negotiations are under way to persuade Franco to join Kidman in a Broadway production of "Sweet Bird of Youth" later this year.

"It looks like it's coming together," said Cromer, who helmed the recent award-winning Off-Broadway revival of "Our Town" at the Barrow Street Theatre. "It's one of my favorite plays."

Oscar-winner Kidman last appeared on Broadway - and in the nude - in David Hare's "The Blue Room," which ran from 1998 to 1999. Franco, who was nominated for an Oscar for "127 Hours" would be making his Broadway debut.

Cromer said producers, including Scott Rudin, had signed Kidman but are still in talks with Franco, though the actor has expressed interest. "They're still working on the schedule," he said.

The play tells the story of an aging actress and the gigolo paramour who uses her as he tries to help her get back into movies. Cromer said producers hope to have the production staged by fall or winter.

Clearing schedules for both actors is a challenge. Kidman, who could win her second lead actress Oscar for "Rabbit Hole," has finished "Trespass," a home-invasion thriller with Nicolas Cage, and is slated to star with Clive Owen in a TV movie about the romance between Ernest Hemingway and a World War II correspondent.

Franco is even busier. Beside his recurring role on the daytime soap opera "General Hospital" as a demented artist, he has signed on to co-host The Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway while taking classes at Yale University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

"Sweet Bird of Youth" had its Broadway debut in 1959 and featured a young Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, who reprised their roles as Chance Wayne and Alexandra Del Lago in a film version. A Broadway revival in 1975 starred Christopher Walken and Irene Worth.

This year is the centennial of Williams' birth.
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