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Film News Roundup: Hilary Swank’s ‘P.S. I Love You’ Is Getting a Sequel

In today’s film news roundup, “Postscript,” “Apeirogon” and “Porgy and Bess” are all being developed as feature films, AMC’s Adam Aron will be honored at CinemaCon and SXSW drama “South Mountain” has found distribution.

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P.S. I Love You” is finally getting a sequel.

Alcon Entertainment has acquired film rights to “Postscript,” the follow-up novel from Cecelia Ahern. Alcon will co-finance and co-produce the movie with Black Label Media.

Alcon produced the 2007 movie based on Ahern’s book “P.S. I Love You,” which starred Hilary Swank as the widow Holly Kennedy. The film earned $156 million at the worldwide box office. “Postscript” picks up Holly’s story seven years after her husband’s death, when Holly’s sister asks her to tell the story of the “P.S. I Love You” letters on her podcast.

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Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners has acquired the movie rights to “Apeirogon,” the upcoming novel from National Book Award winner Colum McCann.

“Apeirogon” explores the unlikely friendship between an Israeli and a Palestinian who both lost a daughter to violence, and turned their grief into action and activism. The novel will be released on Feb. 25.

McCann also wrote “TransAtlantic,” “Let the Great World Spin,” “Zoli” and “This Side of Brightness.” Amblin’s president of production Holly Bario will oversee the project for the studio.

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MGM has hired Dee Rees to write and direct a movie adaptation of George Gershwin’s 1935 opera “Porgy and Bess.”

Irwin Winkler and Charles Winkler will produce. The film rights were granted to MGM by the Gershwin Estate.

“Porgy and Bess,” set in an African American neighborhood known as Catfish Row, centers on the love story of the beggar Porgy and the beautiful Bess, who tries to escape a life of prostitution and drug addiction.

Rees directed “Mudbound” and was nominated for the adapted screenplay Oscar. Her adaptation of the Joan Didion novel “The Last Thing He Wanted,” starring Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway, premiered at Sundance and opens later this year on Netflix. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

HONORS

The National Association of Theatre Owners will honor AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron with the marquee award during this year’s CinemaCon.

Aron will be honored on March 30, the opening night of the 10th edition of CinemaCon at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Aron has headed AMC Entertainment since 2016. His tenure at AMC has seen AMC become the largest cinema operator globally, with 2,200 screens in 244 theatres in Europe and more than 8,200 screens in 661 theatres in the United States.

ACQUISITIONS

Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American rights to the drama “South Mountain,” starring Talia Balsam and Scott Cohen, Variety has learned exclusively.

The movie, which premiered last year at SXSW, will receive a theatrical release in March, followed by a DVD and VOD release in the second quarter. Balsam plays an artist and mother living in the Catskills who has devoted herself to everyone around her and has to deal with her husband leaving her for another woman with whom he has already fathered a child.

Hilary Brougher directed from her own screenplay. Producers are Susan A. Stover, Kristin M. Frost and Maria Rosenblum.

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Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to teen comedy “Banana Split.”

The film stars Hannah Marks, Liana Liberato, Addison Riecke and Dylan Sprouse and centers on two teenage girls developing a kindred spirit friendship, with one big problem: one of them is dating the other’s ex.

The film marks the directorial debut of veteran indie cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke and is written and executive produced by duo Hannah Marks and Joey Powers. Vertical plans a day-and-date release in theatres and on VOD and digital on March 27. UPHE Content Group has bought international rights.

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