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Javier Bardem Pulls Out of Francis Ford Coppola's 'Tetro,' Replaced by Carmen Maura

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Apr 03, 2008 | 10:21am EDT

Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem has pulled out of Francis Ford Coppola's new movie Tetro--only to be replaced by Spanish actress Carmen Maura.

The legendary director originally wrote the part for a male lead, but decided to rewrite the character as female when Bardem was forced to withdraw from the project.

And Coppola insists he was glad he had the opportunity to give the character a sex change.

He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "One of the important roles in the script is a mentor and teacher to Tetro (leading character played by Vincent Gallo), and

I originally wrote it for a man.

"As I read and reread (the script), I felt that the interaction between the two characters would be far more intriguing if they were of the opposite sex."

Maura has now joined the rest of the cast for the film's 11-week shoot, which began on March 31 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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