Top Michael York lookie-likey, Andrei Arshavin has been dramatically cast in the 2010 reworking of the 70's classic Cabaret.
York, although still medically fit enough to play the role was said to have declined after having doubts over co-star casting of Katie Price as the irrepressible Sally Bowles.
A dumbfounded York told me; "I feel (they) are making a huge mistake - particularly in the bedroom scenes their leading lady is going to be taller than Andrei even when she is laying down. This would be so out of character for Sally".
The Bob Fosse classic is due for release in the Spring of 2011 and rookie director, Peter Andre has had his work cut out garnering the egos the eclectic cast. There have been rumours of on-set arguments and bust up's in the run up to film's busy shooting schedule. An irate Gianfranco Zola, mischievously cast as Joel Grey's Master of Ceremonies character complained of height issues with the grammatically gifted leading lady.
"She is so uncompromising," he said, "Both Arshavin and I have to use egg boxes on our feet to gain height for most of the scenes whilst she insists on eating cold pizza as we struggle to deliver our lines".
The talented footballers, too, were at odds over the casting of the Hitler Youth characters, Arshavin acting as agent for a team-mate had suggested that Aryan looking Nicholas Bendtner would best suit the lederhosen albeit with a little packing for the full frontal shots. Meanwhile, a Zippy Zola fumed as his suggestion failed to make the screen test stage. "I am so upset that they wouldn't see Mattie Upson for the test, he is perfect for the role and is multi-lingual and adores the scene in Berlin. He's always hanging out there. What a waste!"
It wasn't all curtains for the Italian MC however, as Bubble Blowers Jack Collison and a tearful Upson made the supporting cast of the demented choir.
There was more cross-capital rivalry when Russian-owned Chelsea released several key players for rehearsal during the January transfer window. The cosmopolitan crew were keen to be cast as Kit Kat musicians and dancers once they heard the main parts weren't up for grabs. An appropriately named Yury Zhirkov stole the part as a Frankfurter-for-Favours front-of-house girl, Milly before team-mates snaffled up the part. Real German, Michael Ballack dropped in as drag drummer in the band and Artie Deco blended in magnificently.
Shooting on location in Arsène Wenger's Alsace begins in the close season.