Tall Trees grow at Col

Thomas may helm duo's pix

“Dr. Dolittle” and “Brady Bunch” helmer Betty Thomas and her producing partner Jenno Topping have inked a three-year first-look deal with Columbia Pictures.

Under the arrangement, Thomas and Toppings’ Tall Tree Prods. will develop and produce projects for the studio, some of which Thomas may direct.

Topping exec produced the Eddie Murphy starrer “Dr. Dolittle,” which Thomas directed. The team also produced Columbia’s summer teen comedy “Can’t Hardly Wait.”

“With successes like ‘Dr. Dolittle,’ ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ and ‘The Brady Bunch Movie,’ Betty and Jenno have established themselves as one of the most sought-after producer-director teams in Hollywood,” said Columbia Pictures president Amy Pascal. “I’m delighted they now have a home at Columbia.”

The team has several comedy projects in development at Columbia, including “Snatching Sinatra,” “Stealing America” and “Patriot Daze.”

Thomas other feature helming credits include “Private Parts” and the HBO pic “The Late Shift,” for which she won a DGA award. As an actor, Thomas was a regular on “Hill Street Blues.”

Before forming Tall Trees, Topping was a veep at HBO Pictures, where she oversaw production on such pics as “The Second Civil War,” “Rasputin” and “The Late Shift.”

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