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Perry to prep Lionsgate comedy

Actor will direct movie adaptation of his play

Tyler Perry will direct and star in the bigscreen adaptation of his stage play “Meet the Browns” for Lionsgate.

Comedy, which begins lensing this summer, marks the fifth film Perry will have done for Lionsgate and the fourth he will have helmed.

Wednesday’s announcement by Lionsgate prexy of film production Michael Paseornek came the same day that Perry’s syndicated sitcom “House of Payne” debuted on TBS. Lionsgate’s wholly owned Debmar-Mercury subsid is distributing the show.

Much in the vein of “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “Madea’s Family Reunion,” Perry’s “Meet the Browns” is about a single mother who rediscovers the joys of family and the possibility of second chances when meeting the fun-loving family of her father, whom she never knew.

Unlike in the stage version, Perry’s signature character Madea will appear in the feature adaptation of “Meet the Browns.”

Lionsgate will release the fourth installment in Perry’s film franchise, “Why Did I Get Married?,” on Nov. 16.

Perry’s first three pics have grossed more than $200 million worldwide, while Lionsgate has sold more than 15 million DVD units.

Lionsgate is eying an early 2008 release for “Meet the Browns,” which will be shot at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

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