After shooting such grim dramas as ''The Hours,'' ''The Human Stain,'' ''Cold Mountain,'' ''Dogville,'' and the upcoming ''Birth,'' it's no wonder Nicole Kidman wants to sing and dance again. Variety reports that the ''Moulin Rouge'' star is joining the cast of ''The Producers,'' the adaptation of the Broadway musical hit. She'll play the sexy Swedish secretary to Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick's theatrical schemers, a character called Ulla because her bosses can't pronounce her full name. The Universal movie shoots in February 2005, with an eye toward a Christmas release.
The role is an unusual choice for Kidman -- it's at least a third- or even fourth-banana part, and it doesn't call for the actress to do much besides show off her assets. Still, it was a big enough part to win Cady Huffman a Tony three years ago. In any case, Susan Stroman, who directed the Broadway show and will helm the movie, sounds happy that Kidman is on board. ''I'm so excited,'' Stroman told Variety. ''She's so versatile.''