Lady and the Vamps

By EW Staff
Updated June 17, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Must List 2005: Cast of ”The Producers”

NAMES/AGES Matthew Broderick (Leo Bloom), 43; Nathan Lane (Max Bialystock), 49; and Uma Thurman (Ulla), 35

MUSTWORTHINESS In 1968, it was a film (starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder) about the making of a musical flop; in 2001, it became a smash-hit Broadway musical (starring Lane and Broderick); and now it’s…a musical film! With some va-voom from newcomer Thurman (plus Will Ferrell as a buffoonish Nazi playwright), Mel Brooks’ sublimely silly comedy finally comes full circle.

FROM STAGE (BACK) TO SCREEN ”It was odd in the beginning because you’re so used to the audience,” Lane says. ”But it’s still in your head somewhere. Joan of Arc heard voices — we hear the distant laughter of people in a Broadway theater.”

TOUGH ACTS TO FOLLOW ”I’m not as good as Gene Wilder, and I’m not as good as myself,” Broderick deadpans. ”It’s very confusing.”

SWEDE SURRENDER ”Ulla is just a delicious character — pure joy and sex and sweetness,” says Thurman, who stepped into the seductive-secretary role after Nicole Kidman dropped out. ”I finally get to be a song-and-dance girl, which is all I ever wanted to be.”

THE END OF THE ROAD ”After the movie, I think that’s it for a while,” says Lane. ”Unless we do The Producers, the TV series: They produce a new flop every week!”

NEXT Producers hits theaters Dec. 23; Broderick and Lane team up again in October for a Broadway revival of The Odd Couple.

The Producers (Movie - 2005)

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 134 minutes
  • Susan Stroman