Thursday, July 5, 2007; 5:31 PM
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The four women who spiced up Manhattan's singles scene for six years on the HBO television series "Sex and the City" appear headed for a big-screen reunion after all.
New Line Cinema, a corporate sibling of HBO under Time Warner Inc., is close to sealing a final deal to finance and distribute the long-stalled picture, a spokesman for the studio said on Thursday.
The project is set to begin shooting in the fall with all four stars of the HBO hit -- Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon -- on board to reprise their roles.
Longtime series executive producer Michael Patrick King will direct the film from his own script and serve as producer, along with Parker and series creator Darren Star.
While no release date has been set, the movie presumably would arrive in theaters sometime next year.
Plans for a movie were first revealed by HBO in early 2004, months before the show ended its six-season run.
But the project stalled, according to show business newspaper Daily Variety, when Cattrall sought greater script control and a salary closer to that of Parker, who was more highly paid than her co-stars because she was a co-executive producer of the series.
Variety said Cattrall ultimately was won over with a sweetened offer that included a series deal with HBO.
The New Line spokesman said it was not immediately clear whether any supporting cast members, such as Chris Noth, would join the film.
"Sex and the City," based on the work of best-selling author Candace Bushnell, was the first cable series to win an Emmy for best comedy and starred Parker as a fashion-conscious New York columnist who writes about Manhattan's dating scene.
The series co-starred Cattrall as the vixen-like public relations executive Samantha Jones; Nixon as hard-boiled lawyer Miranda Hobbes, juggling career with motherhood; and Davis as inveterate optimist Charlotte York, who married her own divorce lawyer after a long search for Mr. Right.
While many television series over the years have been based on movies or made into feature films, it is rare for prime-time shows to make the transition to the big screen with most of their original cast members.
Among the few that have done so are "Star Trek" -- both the original series and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" -- and "The X-Files."