Helmer signs on to project after Harper draft ignites interest

Matt Williams is aboard to direct “Cheaper by the Dozen,” the 20th Century Fox remake of the 1950 comedy about an efficiency expert who tries to bring his work home to manage his 12 children.

Williams is best known for hatching the hit sitcoms “Roseanne” and “Home Improvement” and made his feature directing debut on Fox’s “Where the Heart Is.”

“Cheaper by the Dozen” has been in development at the studio for years but finally became a film the studio got excited about after a draft came in by scribe Sam Harper. Fox production prexy Hutch Parker is steering the film.

Pic is being produced by 1492 Prods.’ Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, along with Ben Myron.

Williams has been in talks to do the film for two months, but the deal closed only after he and his Wind Dancer cohorts boarded the film as executive producers instead of producers. That’s because, while children might be cheaper by the dozen, fully credited producers almost certainly are not.

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