The "Sex And The City" franchise is dead you say (or at least Christ Noth said recently)? Meh, the films' director, Michael Patrick King, who also directed several episodes of the HBO show, isn't sweating it.
The filmmaker and writer has a just announced new untitled comedy set in the world of home shopping networks that he will write and direct. Its stars? Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and Oprah Winfrey , and Universal Pictures just acquired the rights to the project. Not bad, not bad at all.
"I came up with the idea of writing for Meryl, Sandy and Oprah, and it became so specific to them that I wanted to be sure I had interest from these ladies," King told Deadline today. "I put it in front of each of them and they all said yes. To have access to these women, tell them this story and hear yes was almost like a Greek mythological journey, with me going from one goddess to the next. It was humbling. They're all unique, and the idea of writing parts that three strong women will play is such a challenge. Their body of work is beyond reproach. It's also appealing to craft a character for Oprah to come back and play that's not Oprah."
The gig will be the first major live-action appearance for Winfrey since 1998's "Beloved" (she's done voice work in several animated films since then). Deadline describes the pic as an "ensemble comedy... where characters make their way through the maze of mania that surrounds marketing, marriages and the media."
The plan is to have the script ready by January and while actress availability may be an issue, the hope is to have the film in production by summer or fall 2011. Good for King. It's a stellar cast and a coup that he's scored Winfrey, as well as Streep and Bullock, who obviously demonstrated their comedic chemistry at the 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards with their liplock earlier this year.
But let's not forget: while extremely profitable (the combined haul of both "Sex And The City" films is approximately $703 million worldwide), both films stunk. And as boosters of the sharply written, female-empowering HBO show, we were incredibly disappointed with how both movies undid most of the goodwill the series had accrued. You've got a great cast Mr. King, but clearly you still have your creative work cut out for you.