A Nicole Kidman film about a transgender painter has been shelved after another star pulled out.

Kidman hopes to play artist Lili Elbe before and after transition in a film titled The Danish Girl.

Her production company Blossom Films is backing the project.

However, three big-name actresses have pulled out of the role of Elbe’s wife.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron were both lined up for the part but said they had other commitments.

Rachel Weisz has now pulled out too, the Mail on Sunday reports.

A source told the newspaper: “Nicole initially approached Gwyneth Paltrow to play the artist’s wife and fellow artist Gerda Gottlieb, but she was too busy. Charlize Theron then took the role but had to pull out because of scheduling conflicts.

“Rachel Weisz signed up last year but now she’s pulled out and the whole production has been thrown into disarray. Nicole is still determined to make this film, so she’s gone back to the drawing board.”

Elbe, born Einar Wegener, was one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment and had the surgery in the 1930s.

It is thought she may have been intersex or had Klinefelter’s Syndrome. She died in 1931 of complications after her fifth surgery.

The movie’s script is based upon David Ebershoff’s novel The Danish Girl and will be directed by Tomas Alfredson.