Daniel Day-Lewis is in discussions to star in new musical Nine, from Chicago director Rob Marshall, reports claim.

According to Variety, the There Will Be Blood star is currently in negotiations with the Weinstein Company to fill a role recently vacated by Javier Bardem.

Nine, a musical adaptation of Federico Fellini's film 8 1/2, tells of an esteemed director who attempts to balance a creative block with the many women in his life.

Bardem, who won a best supporting actor Academy Award for No Country For Old Men, had been attached for the led role of Guidi Contini but pulled out earlier this month, reportedly citing exhaustion.

And with filming set to begin later this year, Marshall and his production team of Marc Platt and John DeLuca have reportedly turned to two-time Oscar-winner Day-Lewis to take the part.

Bardem's current girlfriend Penelope Cruz is believed to be attached to the project along with La Vie En Rose actress Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman and Dame Judi Dench to play the women in Contini's life.

Day-Lewis taking the role - and thus his second film part in the last two years - would signal a change of heart of sorts for the London-born actor, who has only made four films in the last decade.

However, a spokesman for the Weinstein Company has denied press speculation, saying: "Any of the names being thrown around is pure conjecture."

He added: "When we're ready to make an announcement, we'll let you know."

15/05/2008 11:06:06