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Helmer’s glass half ‘Full’

Cattaneo signs on for studio film after growing with low-budget pix

Seven years after his Academy Award nom, Peter Cattaneo is back on Hollywood’s radar.

When the Brit TV vet earned an Oscar nom for his feature debut “The Full Monty” in 1998, offers flooded in from major studios.

But after spending the past seven years making two small, low-budget pics, Cattaneo is just now signing onto his first studio pic, New Line comedy “We’re the Millers.”

“I kind of ended up doing my career in a reverse way,” Cattaneo says. “To do this properly and maturely, I felt I needed to make a couple of small features first.”

So he helmed “Lucky Break,” a 2001 release that did virtually no business in the U.S., and is finishing family pic “Pobby and Dingan” in Australia.

Dropping off the Hollywood radar — especially after landing a high-profile calling card like an Oscar nom — is a risky strategy, since showbiz execs have a notoriously short attention span. In Hollywood, eight years can be a lifetime.

But with “Millers,” which is likely to go into production by the summer, Cattaneo thinks the wait has panned out with a comedy that’s right up his alley.

“At the time of ‘Monty,’ I was a little worried by the broad nature of American comedies,” he recalls. “Now there’s a really wonderful tone and smartness to them.”

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