Embarrassment of witches at Col

Producer Cruise may star in comedy remake

Which witch is which?

Danny DeVito has agreed to direct the Cruise/Wagner production “I Married a Witch” for Columbia Pictures. Pic is a remake of the 1942 comedy that starred Fredric March and Veronica Lake. Tom Cruise is considering starring in the pic, in addition to producing it.

Although the film doesn’t have the Col greenlight, DeVito told Daily Variety that he hopes to begin production toward the end of the year, and he expects the comedy to be his next directorial outing.

And, in what Col says is unrelated news, Nora Ephron has come on board to write Col’s feature adaptation of the 1960s sitcom “Bewitched,” with Nicole Kidman attached to star. Ephron also has an eye to direct.

Michael Leeson (“War of the Roses”) is writing the “Witch” script. In the original pic, a witch burned at the stake in the 1600s puts a curse on her tormentor’s family to ensure that his male descendants always marry the wrong woman.

Cut to present day, when the witch returns on the eve of the current son’s wedding. She plans to give him a love potion so he’ll fall in love with her instead, but accidentally drinks the elixir herself. Now enamored with a human male, she begins to adapt traits of a domestic wife, much to the dismay of her warlock father. “I Married A Witch” is overseen by Col exec VP Amy Baer.

“Bewitched,” produced by Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher’s Red Wagon Prods., is an adaptation of the ABC series that ran from 1964-1972.

The sitcom followed the exploits of Samantha, a witch who — much to her mother’s disdain — marries a mortal. He discovers her lineage only after they’re wed, and she promises to give up witchcraft and become an ordinary suburban housewife. Production prexy Doug Belgrad oversees the project.

Cruise/Wagner set up “I Married a Witch” at Col almost five years ago, with Cruise and then-wife Kidman eyeing the lead roles.

DeVito is in post on the Drew Barrymore-Ben Stiller starrer “Duplex,” which he directed for Miramax Films. He’s currently shooting another Col project, “Big Fish,” for helmer Tim Burton.

Ephron previously wrote “Hanging Up” for Col.

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

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