RIO DE JANEIRO — Helmer Fernando Meirelles’ shingle 02 Filmes is producing four new episodes of miniseries “Cidade dos Homens” (City of Men), that spun out of his B.O. hit “City of God.”

Meirelles hopes to make the mini annual event programming for leading net TV Globo.

“City of God” grossed 19.53 million reals ($6.62 million), breaking B.O. records last year for a local pic in Brazil. Miramax distributed the pic in the U.S.

“City of Men” bowed in October, airing on four consecutive nights. It followed the lives of Acerola and Laranjinha (Douglas Silva and Darlan Cunha) who contend with the trials of life in a notorious Rio slum. The plot will evolve naturally from a year ago as the two lead characters are now 13 and 14 years old and facing teenagers’ challenges, Meirelles said.

The four episodes, skedded for Oct 12-16, will feature the same cast from the theater group Nos do Morro of Rio slum Vidigal, whose members gained national recognition for their turns in “City of God.”

Meirelles will direct one episode, with fellow helmers Cesar Charlone, Katia Lund and Regina Case directing the other three. Helmer Jorge Furtado (“Two Summers”) is coordinating scriptwriting.

Hoping for annual event

“We are negotiating with Globo to produce four annual episodes until 2008 or 2009, when we plan to make a feature with the same cast,” Meirelles said. “The characters will naturally age and will be facing situations typical of their ages and reality.”

The series is part of a 2002 agreement between TV Globo and O2 Filmes, which is one of the few indies to produce for a national broadcast net. TV Globo has also inked co-production deals with Casa de Cinema and VideoFilmes, but has yet to produce with them.