Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Rob Marshall Reveals Scrapped 'Razzle Dazzle' Concept From His CHICAGO Film Adaptation

Rob Marshall Reveals Scrapped 'Razzle Dazzle' Concept From His CHICAGO Film Adaptation

The film adaptation of Chicago is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary.

While reflecting on his Academy Award winning film adaptation of Chicago, Rob Marshall has revealed the original concept for "Razzle Dazzle" that didn't make the cut.

Discussing the film for its 20th anniversary, Marshall told Entertainment Weekly that his original direction for "Razzle Dazzle" was ambitious, but was ultimately cut and re-thought into what appears in the film today.

"I thought we could do one shot where there were walls in place - they were in an empty room outside the courtroom. It was Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger, and they're both about to go in, and she's nervous to go in for this trial. He says, 'We'll just give him the old razzle dazzle.' And he starts to describe that to her."

Marshall continued, "I thought what we could do is as we were coming around with the camera and as we passed the wall, the wall would lift, and we would go all the way around. So, by the time we came back, all the walls would be gone, and we'd be in this circus environment that was the courtroom. But how you imagine it and the flow of it versus the reality of the camera movement, it seemed clunky, and it just didn't work."

That concept ended up being scrapped, with Marshall revealing that they did not end up having enough time to tech the number before filming it, noting the film's tight budget and schedule. He then had to re-think the entire number.

"Because we were on such a tight schedule because musicals at that point were not in favor. Our budget was tight. Our shooting schedule was tight. We didn't have the time to actually prep it in a way that could have worked. It was clunky. Thank God we went back and shot that in a more conventional way, that's still very exciting. What happens is Richard opens the doors, and now we're in this circus environment."

Marshall did have to request an extra half-day of shooting from the studio to pull of the musical number the way that it appears in the film. Watch a video of the number below!

While "Razzle Dazzle" was re-thought for the film, the song "Class" was eventually cut entirely, since it did not fit with the concept of every song taking place in Roxie's mind. The song was later released in a Director's Cut of the film.

Chicago was Rob Marshall's film directorial debut. His new live action film remake of Disney's The Little Mermaid will be released this May. The film stars Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, and more.

Originally released wide on January 24, 2003, CHICAGO was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won not only Best Picture, but also Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound.

A thrilling adaptation of the Broadway musical, the film boasts sensational performances from Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, and more. Filled with electrifying musical numbers, wildly entertaining satire, and plenty of razzle dazzle, CHICAGO remains a must-see cinematic spectacle.

Related Stories
Video: Watch Jinkx Monsoon and Kristin Chenoweth Chat Queen to Queen at CHICAGO Photo
On Friday, March 17th, Chicago presented QUEEN TO QUEEN with Jinkx Monsoon & Kristin Chenoweth, a 'jazzy' post-show event at the Ambassador Theatre following the evening performance of Chicago, and BroadwayWorld was there to capture the event! Watch in this video!

Video: CHICAGOs Jinkx Monsoon Speaks Out Against Anti-Drag Laws Photo
Watch Chicago's Jinkx Monsoon speak out about the wave of anti-drag laws currently being proposed by Republican lawmakers.

Photos: Go Backstage at QUEEN TO QUEEN with Jinkx Monsoon & Kristin Chenoweth at CHICA Photo
On Friday, March 17th, Chicago presented QUEEN TO QUEEN with Jinkx Monsoon & Kristin Chenoweth, a “jazzy” post-show event at the Ambassador Theatre. Check out our photos here!

Photos: John Kander Celebrates 96th Birthday at CHICAGO Photo
Broadway legend John Kander, who is currently represented on Broadway with Chicago and New York, New York, celebrates his 96th birthday tomorrow, March 18. To celebrate the headed to the Ambassador Theatre to pose with the ladies of Chicago!

From This Author - Michael Major

Arctic Lake Shares New Single 'Are You Okay?'Arctic Lake Shares New Single 'Are You Okay?'
March 24, 2023

Emma Foster’s expressive vocals and Paul Holliman’s bright, buoyant production combine to deliver a reassuring message about restoring personal connections that have gotten frayed by outside demands. The London-based duo collaborated on the track with Donny Bravo.

Matt Corby Releases New Album 'Everything's Fine'Matt Corby Releases New Album 'Everything's Fine'
March 24, 2023

Reinvigorated by the art of collaboration Matt returned to his most trusted partnerships with producers Alex Hendrickson, Chris Collins (Gang of Youths, Middle Kids, Skegss), and pop-writing talent Nat Dunn (Rita Ora, Charli XCX, Tkay Maidza) to build a dynamic, layered musical world now on display with the arrival of Everything’s Fine.

Lindsey Lomis Drops New Single 'Bad News / Good News'Lindsey Lomis Drops New Single 'Bad News / Good News'
March 24, 2023

Lomis made waves with 2020’s In the Madness EP and a string of live dates supporting artists like The Brook & The Bluff, “Slow Motion” collaborator JoJo, Lawrence, Lexi Jayde, and Joshua Bassett. She also earned online support from the likes of Justin Bieber, Meghan Trainor, Shawn Mendes, Joe Jonas, Allen Stone, and more. 

FREYA RIDINGS Soars In 'Can I Jump?' Ahead of New Album in AprilFREYA RIDINGS Soars In 'Can I Jump?' Ahead of New Album in April
March 24, 2023

Writing the track with Scott Harris (Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes) and Annika Bennett along with Grammy Award winning producer Federico Vindver (Coldplay, Meghan Trainor), “Can I Jump?” was inspired by the biggest of decisions - the prospect of getting married to her partner after an on/off/on relationship which started when she was 19-years-old.

Brandy Clark to Return With Brandi Carlile-Produced Self-Titled AlbumBrandy Clark to Return With Brandi Carlile-Produced Self-Titled Album
March 24, 2023

Brandy Clark will return this spring with her highly-anticipated new self-titled album. Produced by 9-time Grammy winning Brandi Carlile, the album showcases Clark’s versatility with eleven songs that span the emotional spectrum, including the first single, “Buried,” which is out now.