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Film News Roundup: Misty Copeland Biopic Draws ‘Tall Girl’ Director

In today’s film news roundup, New Line’s Misty Copeland biopic moves ahead, Rapman’s “Blue Story” is becoming a feature film and “Muriel’s Wedding” is getting a 25th anniversary showing.

DIRECTOR ATTACHED

New Line has hired “Tall Girl” helmer Nzingha Stewart to direct its feature adaptation of Misty Copeland’s biography “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.”

Copeland was the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Michelle Rosenfarb is writing the screenplay.

Producers are Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot from Offspring Entertainment, and Philip Sandhaus. Stewart is currently in production on the film “Tall Girl” for Netflix and served as executive producer on Lionsgate’s “For Colored Girls.”

“As an African American woman, I know firsthand that when Misty Copeland leaps, we all soar,” Stewart said. “As a filmmaker, I am thrilled to bring this hopeful, triumphant, and cinematic story to the big screen.”

Stewart is repped by Paradigm, Management 360, and The Nord Group.

Popular on Variety

PROJECT LAUNCH

Paramount Pictures and BBC Films are developing Rapman’s “Blue Story” video trilogy as a feature film with photography under way in South London.

“Blue Story” is created, written, directed and narrated by UK music artist Andrew Onwubolu, aka Rapman.

BBC Films developed and co-financed “Blue Story.” Paramount has acquired worldwide distribution rights and plans to release the film later this year.

Rapman has risen to prominence through his music and short film trilogies, culminating in 2018’s “Shiro’s Story” on YouTube.

The cast of “Blue Story” includes Stephen Odubola (“The Legend Of Tarzan”), Micheal Ward, Khali Best, Max Fincham, Kadeem Ramsay, Karla-Simone Spence and Eric Kofi-Abrefa. Junior Afolabi Salokun and Micaiah Lewis will make their feature film debuts.

“Blue Story” is described as a tragic tale of a friendship between two young boys from opposing neighborhood and depicts elements of Rapman’s own personal experiences and aspects of his childhood. He’s hoping that the film will send positive messages, aimed at inspiring kids from difficult backgrounds to turn away from local gangs.

AUSTRALIAN FILMS

The second annual Australian International Screen Forum has been set for New York City on March 19-22 with Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” as the opening night film.

The event, held at Lincoln Center’s Francesca Beale Theater, will close with “Top End Wedding,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The centerpiece event is the 25th Anniversary screening of “Muriel’s Wedding,” with members of the cast in attendance including star Toni Collette.

“Ladies in Black” from director Bruce Beresford and “Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible” will also screen.

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