Lawrence inks for ‘Life’

After months of negotiations, Martin Lawrence has inked an $8.5 million payday to do “Life” with Eddie Murphy for Universal Pictures.

While it was previously reported that Lawrence was in negotiations to co-star in the Ted Demme-helmed comedy (Daily Variety, Aug. 19), sources said the deal did not close until last week.

Written by Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone, “Life” tells the sweeping story of two friends in the 1940s who are given life sentences at a grim prison in the South. Pic follows their antics up until the present time.

Imagine Entertainment will produce the film, slated to begin production after the first of the year.

A studio source said Lawrence will receive $8.5 million for “Life,” while another source put the figure at $9 million. Lawrence last brought home more than $6 million for his role in “Nothing to Lose.”

Lawrence’s other credits include “Bad Boys,” “You So Crazy,” “Boomerang,” “House Party” and “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” which he wrote, directed and toplined.

Lawrence’s deal was brokered by UTA and his attorney, Larry Rose. He is managed by Michael Green of the recently established management shingle the Firm.

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