Could someone please buy Nicole Kidman a PDA? The busy actress seems to be having trouble keeping her schedule straight. Variety reports that she's backing out of her stated intention to follow up her turn in Lars von Trier's ''Dogville'' with starring roles in the director's two planned sequels, citing time constraints. It's the second time this week that she's claimed a scheduling conflict as the reason for dropping a movie project.
Kidman made a splash earlier this summer in the ''Dancer in the Dark'' director's ''Dogville,'' an epic set in Depression-era America. The film is the first part of the ''U.S.A.'' trilogy from the Danish director (who has never actually set foot in the United States). Von Trier's follow-up, ''Manderlay,'' reportedly brings Grace (the character Kidman played in ''Dogville'') to a Southern plantation, where she helps organize African-Americans who are still working in slavery-like conditions. He wants to shoot it next spring, but Kidman expects to spend that time shooting Baz Luhrmann's Alexander the Great biopic, where she'll play the mother of conqueror Leonardo DiCaprio. Instead, von Trier will cast another actress in ''Manderlay,'' and a third actress will play Grace in the final film, ''Washington.'' As for ''Dogville,'' Lions Gate is expected to release it in the U.S. sometime this fall.
Earlier this week, Kidman's camp suggested she might have to drop out of this fall's ''Mr. and Mrs. Smith,'' the married-assassins romp costarring Brad Pitt, because she'll still be shooting ''The Stepford Wives.'' The ''Smith'' filmmakers have also gone scrambling for a replacement, with Catherine Zeta-Jones at the top of their wish list. Kidman is also still attached to the ''Bewitched'' adaptation, which has no production date yet. Maybe she'll be available to play Samantha Stevens in late 2005 or so.