Sony Pix racks up Spice Girls movie

Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired North and South American rights to “Spice — The Movie,” the upcoming pic starring British pop sensation the Spice Girls.

Columbia Pictures will release the film domestically. Sony also bought rights for Portugal.

John Calley, president and chief operating officer of SPE, said, “The Spice Girls have reached a unique point in their career in which they are finally meeting the fans that have catapulted them to No. 1. It is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of the excitement of the Spice Girls.”

The film will shoot this summer for a Christmas release, coinciding with the launch of the female pop combo’s second album.

It’s being produced by London-based Fragile Films, backed by Polygram Filmed Entertainment, which will release the pic in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Benelux and Australia, and Icon Entertainment Intl., which is handling the remaining foreign sales.

“Spice — The Movie” is one of the hottest titles on the Cannes market, boosted by a crowd-pleasing performance from the fivesome at their press conference here Sunday.

The pic, a “Hard Day’s Night”-style mockumentary following the girls in the run-up to their (fictional) live debut concert, is scripted by Brit sitcom writer Kim Fuller and directed by Bob Spiers (“Absolutely Fabulous”). Producers are Uri Fruchtmann and Barnaby Thompson, with the group’s manager Simon Fuller as exec producer.

The debut Spice Girls single “Wannabe” made No. 1 in 32 countries, including the U.S. The group has had four successive chart-toppers in the U.K.

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