Mottola ankles project

Danny DeVito has replaced Gregg Mottola as director of “Duplex,” the Miramax pic starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore.

Mottola, who has a two-pic deal with the minimajor, exited the project in preproduction earlier this month.

Miramax co-prexy of production Meryl Poster has described Mottola’s departure as a “mutual and amicable decision.”

“Duplex,” scripted by “The Simpsons” supervising producer Larry Doyle, is a comedy about a New York couple who dream of moving into a coveted duplex apartment, but must first murder the kind old woman who lives in it.

DeVito last directed “Death to Smoochy,” a Warner Bros. pic out in March. DeVito co-stars in “Smoochy” with Ed Norton, Robin Williams and Catherine Keener.

The actor/director/producer also recently produced “How High” through his Jersey Films shingle with co-chairs Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. “How High” will be released by Universal next month.

“Duplex,” a co-production with Stiller’s Red Hour and Barrymore’s Flower Films, goes into production in January.

DeVito is repped by CAA.

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