Coppola’s “Tetro” Gets A Sex Change


Here’s my favorite bit of movie news today: According to the Hollywood Reporter, “In what Francis Ford Coppola is calling a ‘sex change‘ operation, Carmen Maura (right) is replacing fellow Spaniard Javier Bardem (left) in the family drama ‘Tetro.’ Coppola said his rewrite of the pivotal role came during rehearsals for the film’s 11-week shoot, which began March 31 in Buenos Aires.” Neither Bardem, who just won an Oscar for “No Country for Old Men,” nor Maura, who is perhaps best known for Almodovar’s “Law of Desire,” is any stranger to roles that explore sexuality or gender.

“One of the important roles in the script is a mentor and teacher to Tetro (Vincent Gallo), and I originally wrote it for a man,” Coppola said. “As I read and reread (the script), I felt that the interaction between the two characters would be far more intriguing if they were of the opposite sex.”

The director often changes key elements of his script be¬fore and during filming, he said, but ac¬cording to another person involved in the deal, Bardem “became unavailable” for the project and is reading drafts of the script for his starring role in Rob Marshall’s “Nine.” The Weinstein Co.’s adaptation of the Broadway musical was delayed by the WGA strike and is expected to begin shooting in September.

Pedro Almodovar staple Maura (“Volver”) recently joined around the time of rehearsals in Buenos Aires, which Bardem never attended. Although he had a supporting role and was only set to film for two weeks, the “No Country for Old Men” star was the highest profile name among the cast and the only Oscar nominee. (He went on to winning the award for best supporting actor in February.)

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