MacLaine to reprise Aurora

Shirley MacLaine, who won a best actress Academy Award for her role as Aurora in Paramount’s “Terms of Endearment,” will return to star in the sequel, “The Evening Star,” which Par and producer David Kirkpatrick are currently developing.

Larry McMurtry’s “EveningStar,” published last summer, takes up the story of Aurora and her family 15 years after “Terms.”

The novel tells the story of Aurora’s three grandchildren, the grown and troubled children of Emma–the character played by Debra Winger–who died at the end of “Terms.”

Considering that the film won five Oscars, including best picture, and was a critical and financial success, most insiders predicted a quick purchase by Par for “Evening Star” when it was published.

However, sources say the studio waffled on buying the book until MacLaine would commit to the project. It was not until recently that she did and Par finally decided to make an offer.

MacLaine is about to star in another film for Par, “Guarding Tess,” which Hugh Wilson is directing for producer Scott Rudin.

Terms of the “Evening Star” deal, hammered out by McMurtry’s agent, Irving Lazar, were a $ 200,000 option against $ 500,000 purchase price once the film gets made.

Robert Harling, who wrote another MacLaine starrer, “Steel Magnolias,” and co-wrote “Soapdish,” has been signed to write the screenplay.

As for one of the film’s other important characters, astronaut Garrett Breedlove–which earned Jack Nicholson a supporting actor Oscar — a source close to the film says Nicholson is interested in reprising the role, depending on the script.

The Breedlove character does not appear in either book–“Terms of Endearment” or “Evening Star”–but was added to the original film by screenwriter-director James Brooks.

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