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TheEveningStar
10-03-04, 22:48
By Josh Grossberg

Who needs Ben Affleck or Tom Cruise--Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman have each other to swing with.

The superstar twosome are prepared to become American Darlings on the big screen. According to Daily Variety, Lopez and Kidman will headline the World War II period picture about a taboo-shattering swing band.

The film will reportedly tell the story of an all-white, all-female swing band that teams up with black and Hispanic musicians at a time when women weren't welcomed to play the mostly male-dominated 1940s nightclub scene.

Lopez and Kidman are expected to show off their vocal chops for the film as they jazz it up with some of the era's great bandleaders, including Count Basie and his orchestra at the Apollo Theater.

Kidman was reportedly the driving force behind the idea, which was initially drawn up by her acting coach, Susan Baton. After reading a four-page pitch, Kidman brought it to Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced the Oscar-winning Chicago and are currently working on feature remakes of Guys and Dolls and Damn Yankees. The producers in turn approached Lopez who sparked to the material and signed on.

No writer has been attached yet. But Kidman will executive produce Darlings with Zadan, Meron, Baton and Carl Rumbaugh with an assist from New Regency.

The project adds to a growing slate for both performers. Kidman already has three films in the pipeline, the completed remake of The Stepford Wives for this summer, the indie film Birth also due out this year and a revamped Bewitched set for summer 2005.

Lopez, meanwhile, appears in an extended cameo opposite former flame Affleck in this weekend's Jersey Girl, and has two other projects, Shall We Dance? with Richard Gere and An Unfinished Life with Robert Redford, due this year. She's also agreed to star in the comedy Monster-in-Law with an un-retired Jane Fonda.

If that wasn't enough, the former In Living Color Fly Girl is heading back for more tube work, inking a first-look deal to develop TV shows for Fox TV Studios and Regency TV.

The multiyear agreement, announced Wednesday, means Lopez and her partners at Nuyorican Productions will oversee dramas, comedies and original TV movies for both network and cable.

"I started in television and I love the medium," the singer-actress-designer-restaurateur-perfume purveyor said in a statement. "We intend to be a major creative force in television."

Fox TV Studios will put up the money for future Nuyorican productions. But it does not apply to current Lopez-sponsored projects, including: her deal with NBC for a sitcom loosely based on her youth in New York; Los Quinces, a documentary that the Gigli star hatched for HBO about a Cuban-American girl's 15th birthday; the syndicated chatfest featuring her telejournalist sister Lynda; and Nuyorican's deal with Telemundo to produce a Spanish-language soap opera and a variety show.

According Fox TV Studios president David Grant, who has been with Fox since the In Living Color days, Lopez is more than just a fancy label they can stick on their shows.

"We were impressed that not only is she pretty smart when it comes to entertainment, but she had a direct commitment that when she finds something she's excited about, she'll involved herself," Grant told Variety. "She's prepared to come in and help with the creative process, to help pitch, seduce and do all the things you need to do."

Finally, in some post-Bennifer news, Affleck is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live this coming weekend, where, rumor has it, he may poke fun at his highly-publicized romance with his ex-galpal in a skit. Yahoo.com