Monday, May 20, 2024

UPDATED”Book Club” Sequel, Never Announced, Shooting in Rome with Fonda, Bergen, Keaton, Steenburgen for Focus Features


Ed Note: I published this piece earlier today, them miraculously a press release arrived two hours later. Coincidence? Are there any in this life?

It’s a little strange but a movie is shooting with four major stars and it’s never been announced.

“Book Club 2,” the sequel to the 2018 hit movie, is in production in Rome, Italy. It will be there through the middle of July.

The movie reunites stars Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen. William Holderman is once again directing from a screenplay he wrote with Erin Simms.

Bergen confirmed the movie was happening when I asked her about it last month at a Broadway opening.

Returning co-stars are Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, and Craig T. Nelson. New cast joining will include Giancarlo Giannini, Hugh Quarshie and Vincent Riotta.

UPDATED The original “Book Club” was a Paramount release, but this one is not, according to what I’ve been told. It’s a Focus Features release this time. “Book Club” had some problems because the original producers split up when one of them — Andrew Duncan — was hit with a dozen or more sexual harassment claims by Hollywood insiders. Duncan’s partner, Alex Saks, bought him out of their company. Duncan’s story came in the wake of explosion of #metoo accusations following Harvey Weinstein’s downfall in late 2017.

So far “Book Club 2” hasn’t turned up on the internet movie database or anywhere else, but it’s shooting. The UK Daily Mail captured pictures of Fonda on set May 11th looking snazzy with red hair. Whoever releases the sequel will have a hit. The first one made over $100 million worldwide.

BTW, the first “Book Club” centered around reading “50 Shades of Grey.” Since this one is in Italy, maybe it’s an Elsa Ferrante book the women are obsessed with this time.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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