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The closest ever-lovely leading lady Michelle Williams has come to movie musicals is singing briefly (though prettily) as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn. (See above.) Still, The Daily Mail reports that the three-time Oscar nominated actress has been offered the lead role in an in-development remake of the 1959 movie musical South Pacific, which memorably starred Mitzi Gaynor as Ensign Nellie Forbush. There is also buzz that the filmmakers are looking to pursue "someone like Justin Timberlake" for the role of Lieutenant Cable.
Rather than pulling inspiration from the Gaynor movie, author/screenwriter Lynn Grossman penned a "richly developed" script that harkens back to the source material for Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1949 Broadway production, a Pulitzer prize-winning novel by James Michener called Tales of the South Pacific. Songs like "There Is Nothing Like A Dame," "Some Enchanted Evening," "Bali Hai" and "I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," will still be included, though they've reportedly been weaved into the narrative more naturally than they were in the 1959 version.
Grossman's husband Bob Balaban (yes that Bob Balaban) is set to produce alongside Ileen Maisel (The Golden Compass), Lawrence Elman (Carlo Carlei's Romeo and Juliet) and Denis Wigman (The Cook, the thief, His Wife and Her Lover). Michael Mayer is attached to helm.
South Pacific centers on American nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush who finds herself tangled a complicated love affair while serving on a US Naval base in the titular locale during World War II. The role would offer Williams a new challenge should she sign on. But after playing Marilyn Monroe, following in Gaynor's footsteps can't seem nearly as daunting. It's very early in the proceedings, and there's no word on if Williams will attach herself to the project, though Mail reporter Baz Bamigboye has quoted the star as saying doing a full-blown musical would be "liberating."
Check out one of the numbers she's being asked to tackle: