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‘Chicago’ Turns 20: Director Rob Marshall on Casting Challenges and Surprising Oscars Success


Though it is perhaps arduous to consider 20 years later, Chicago’s director remembers being surprised that his first function movie would even get an awards season marketing campaign, not to mention that it could break field workplace information, develop into the primary musical in additional than 30 years to win finest image, assist revitalize a moribund style — and all that jazz.

Chicago, based mostly on the 1975 musical of the identical title that itself tailored a 1926 play, boasted a star-studded ensemble forged that included Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu. Hitting theaters Dec. 27, 2002, the Miramax movie informed the story of fame-crazed murderers Roxie Hart (Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones) who search the help of flashy lawyer Billy Flynn (Gere) to maintain them away from the gallows — and within the papers.

On the time, Rob Marshall, who would go on to direct such movies as Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Into the Woods (2014) and Mary Poppins Returns (2018), had labored on various stage productions however had but to helm a function. He met with the Miramax workforce about probably main Hire, which might finally hit theaters in 2005 beneath the path of Chris Columbus, however the studio’s property that Marshall actually wished a crack at was Chicago, which occurred to be his all-time favourite musical.

“I used to be blissfully naive in some ways, particularly of how it could do,” Marshall tells The Hollywood Reporter. “At the moment, live-action musicals had been simply useless. Moulin Rouge! had performed the yr earlier than, and that helped open the door. However I used to be very a lot conscious that musicals simply weren’t being accepted. I believed it could be a small, area of interest movie that a number of folks would see.”

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