'Melrose Place' thesp lands female lead in comedy sequel

Jessica Lucas has snagged the female lead in the untitled third installment of the “Big Momma’s House” franchise.

Lucas currently stars in the CW revival of “Melrose Place.” Her feature credits include J.J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield.”

New Regency is fully financing and producing the next chapter in the raucous “Big Momma” franchise, which returns Martin Lawrence in the title role.

Director John Whitesell is set to begin lensing in April.

20th Century Fox will distribute.

Brandon T. Jackson (“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” “Tropic Thunder”) joins the franchise as the nephew of Lawrence’s character. Duo dress as femmes and go undercover at a performing arts school.

Lucas’ character meets up with the nephew — first as a boy, and later as a girl.

David T. Friendly is returning to produce via Friendly Films.

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