Director inks two-picture deal with studio

Helmer Neil LaBute has inked a two-picture deal with Screen Gems. The first project will reteam the director with his “Nurse Betty” star Chris Rock for a remake of 2007 British comedy “Death at a Funeral.”

LaBute, who most recently directed the Samuel L. Jackson starrer “Lakeview Terrace” for the genre label, has also signed on to helm the romantic comedy “Here Comes the Sun” for Screen Gems.

The American-set “Death at a Funeral,” which was penned by Rock and Aeysha Carr, revolves around a dysfunctional family that gathers for the patriarch’s funeral. Tensions rise and old conflicts are uncovered.

Sidney Kimmel is producing the film alongside former Sidney Kimmel Entertainment production topper William Horberg. Rock, Share Stallings and Laurence Malkin will also serve as producers. Jim Tauber is exec producing.

Dean Craig, the writer of the original “Death at a Funeral,” is an executive producer on the new film.

Nina Coleman wrote “Here Comes the Sun,” whose plot details are being kept under wraps. Brad Epstein (“Dan in Real Life”) is producing via his Panther Films shingle.

LaBute’s film directing credits include “In the Company of Men.” He also is an accomplished playwright, and his “Reasons to Be Pretty” will premiere on Broadway in March, marking the first Broadway debut of a LaBute play.

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