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No to the 'King'; Firth, Rush won't reprise 'Speech' roles on Broadway

If "The King's Speech" comes to Broadway next season as planned, it won't be with the two stars of the Academy Award-winning hit movie.

Producer Michael Alden said Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush would not reprise their roles as the stammering Duke of York and the speech therapist who treats and befriends him. Firth won an Oscar and Rush was nominated for best supporting actor.

In a recent interview, Rush said that reading the play three years ago helped persuade him to do the film. Writer David Seidler, who overcame stuttering himself, wrote the script before he completed the screenplay.

"I know David Seidler would like me to do the play," Rush, 59, said at a benefit for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where he was winding up his run in the title role of "The Diary of a Madman." "I have to keep myself alert and diversified. I'm getting older and I have to be open to other possibilities."

Rush also cautioned against an immediate stage production. "They have to let the film mellow with the audience," he said.

Alden, a co-producer of the musical "Grey Gardens," is trying to raise $3.5 million to present the play, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

He hopes to open the play in the U.K. before coming to Broadway. The minimum investment for a producer's credit is $280,000, which can be shared by two people.

Much of the plot and dialogue of the nine-character play is identical to that of the movie, according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg.

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