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In today’s film news roundup, Sabrina Carpenter gets a starring role, Spike Lee’s “Son of the South” adds to its cast and inspirational drama “Edie” gets North American distribution.

CASTINGS

Singer-songwriter Sabrina Carpenter will star in STX’s dance-themed comedy “Work It” from STXfilms and Alloy Entertainment.

Alicia Keys is producing with Elysa Koplovitz Dutton and Leslie Morgenstein from Alloy Entertainment.

Liza Koshy and Keiynan Lonsdale will co-star. Laura Terruso will direct and do a rewrite of the original script, which was penned by Alison Peck. Peck also wrote STX’s upcoming “Uglydolls.”

Carpenter will portray an awkward teenager who, after being rejected from her high school’s dance team, assembles a crew of misfits to compete against them in a national dance championship. She is currently starring in “Short History of The Long Road,” and her credits include “The Hate U Give” and “Tall Girl.”

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American actor Matt William Knowles, who stars in the Chinese film “Asura,” has joined the cast of Barry Alexander Brown’s Civil Rights biopic “Son of the South,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Based on Bob Zellner’s autobiography “The Wrong Side of Murder Creek,” the film follows the grandson of a Klansman in the deep south as he comes to age and joins the Civil Rights Movement. Spike Lee is attached to ‘Son of the South’ as an executive producer.

Knowles will play activist Jim Zwerg, joining the previously announced cast that includes Lucas Till, Lucy Hale, Lex Scott Davis, Julia Ormond, Cedric the Entertainer, Chaka Forman, Sharone Lanier, Brian Dennehy, and Ludi Lin. “Son of the South” is shooting in Montgomery, Al., where many of the events surrounding the film took place.

Colin Bates of Lucidity Entertainment, Stan Erdreich of River Bend Pictures, Eve Pomerance, Bill Black, and David Kang are producing the project.

ACQUISITION

Music Box Films has bought U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to inspirational drama “Edie,” directed by Simon Hunter and starring British actress Sheila Hancock.

The film will receive a theatrical release this fall followed by a home entertainment release. Filmed on location in Scotland, “Edie” tells the story of a recent widow who is about to be forced into a retirement home and decides to go on a climbing trip at the age of 83.

“Edie” premiered at the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival and won the special Jury Award at the Nordic Adventure Film Festival in Copenhagen. It has been released in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and The Netherlands.

The deal was negotiated by William Schopf of Music Box Films, and Caroline Couret-Delègue of Film Seekers.