Kidman and Hopkins Get Stained

Nicole Kidman reportedly turned down a role opposite George Clooney in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind because she wanted to take a break from movies. (Her role went to Drew Barrymore instead.) So, what's this we see in today's Variety? The auburn-haired actress is joining forces with Anthony Hopkins and director Robert Benton for a movie set against the backdrop of the 1998 Clinton impeachment scandal. Well, at least there won't be romance rumors on this set, we imagine

Benton earlier directed Kidman in 1991's Billy Bathgate. The new project is based on Philip Roth's unpleasantly titled novel The Human Stain, about an aging classics professor (Hopkins, natch), who is forced to retire when his colleagues label him a racist.

The film is scheduled to start shooting in March, with Miramax Lakeshore Entertainment negotiating to distribute the film domestically.