Studio picks up 'God' follow-up 'Men'

Miramax is returning to familiar territory, acquiring “City of God” follow-up “City of Men” and scheduling a 2007 release.

Disney unit has bought North American rights and a slew of foreign rights, including the U.K., New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, for the Portuguese-language film.

Movie isn’t exactly a sequel; while dealing with the same milieu as the first pic, it doesn’t follow same stories. Instead, it features characters from the “City of Men” skein, which airs in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel.

Paulo Morelli, who has helmed some of the TV episodes, directed the film from a script by Elena Soarez. Fernando Mereilles, who helmed the first film, produced.

Andrea Barata Ribeiro, Morelli and Bel Berlinck of shingle 02 Filmes are also producers. Globo Films and Fox Film do Brasil co-produced, while Lumina Films repped the sale.

First film followed the turf wars of poor neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, with even pacifists drawn into violence in pic’s Darwinian world of crime and conflict.

“City of Men” examines same issues of survival, politics and loyalty.

While first movie was distribbed by Miramax under company’s previous toppers, current chief Daniel Battsek was involved with the pic as well, acquiring the film in the U.K. for Buena Vista Intl.

Miramax acquisitions veep Peter Lawson brought in the new film, while Michael Luisi, newly promoted exec VP of business affairs and operations, and Samantha Horley, managing director of Lumina Films, negotiated the deal.

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