'Sex and the City' is finally set for the big screen

It's Sex and the City, the movie
Time has flown for fans of Carrie Bradshaw and her three gal-pals on the hit television series Sex and the City which aired its last original episode on the HBO cable channel in the US in 2004. Their patience for a long-promised reprise on the big screen may have been about to run out.

But, according to a report in Variety, the wait may soon be over. The Hollywood trade paper contends that a deal has been signed between HBO and New Line Studios to begin shooting a film version in this autumn.

New Line has yet to comment, but all four female leads ­ Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, who played Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Miranda Hobbes and Charlotte York respectively ­ have supposedly agreed to the big-screen reunion.

There is no word, so far, on which of their many male suitors and partners may return, although Chris Noth, who played Carrie's heartbreaker Mr Big, is also expected to appear, shortly before the closing credits.

Reviving the Manhattan antics of Carrie, with her wardrobe of Manolo Blahnik shoes and designer dresses, reportedly took so long because of contract disputes, specifically with Cattrall.

Celebrity websites have long speculated that she was holding out to be paid on a par with Parker, who got more for the television show because of her role as executive producer. Variety also reported that as part of the film deal, Cattrall has been assured future roles in forthcoming HBO programming.

Parker, who won an Emmy award as Carrie, tried to play down rumours of a rift between the actresses in an interview when she launched her clothing line, Bitten, earlier this year. "It is a very complicated puzzle to put back but not for the reason that people speculate about, because as far as I know, all of the actresses want to be together again for this movie," she said. Asked about a film, she replied: "Never say never."

Most of the original production team are also expected to reunite for the film. The executive producer of the television show, Patrick King, has already written the film's script. The series producer, John Melfi, and its creator, Darren Starr, have reportedly also signed on for the New Line project.

Sex and the City was originally inspired by a newspaper column by Candace Bushnell about her adventures dating and romancing in Manhattan.

First aired in 1998, Sex and the City quickly became a hit for HBO which, like New Line, is owned by Time Warner. It allowed it to emerge from the shadows of the traditional network broadcasters as a company able to produce first-rate comedy and drama. It followed up soon afterwards with its other stand-out success, The Sopranos, an award-winning drama series about a dysfunctional Mafia family in New Jersey.

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