Date: 24th May 2001
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER has selected a final shortlist of five actresses to choose from for the lead female role in the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA film.
MARTINE McCUTCHEON, JESSICA SIMPSON, CATHERINE ZETA JONES, ANDREA CORR and ALEXANDRA JAY are all competing to win the prestigious part in the eagerly-awaited cinematic adaptation of the hit West End musical.
Spanish hunk ANTONIO BANDERAS is still firm favourite to play the Phantom, but a spokesman for LLOYD WEBBER said that MICHAEL CRAWFORD, who starred in the original West-End stage show "has not been ruled out".
Comedian and writer BEN ELTON has finished a script and filming is set to start later this year. Lloyd-Webber will be the "creative force of the film and actively involved in all areas of its production," a spokesman added. (NB/WN/RP)