Thesp to star in 'Parker,' 'Expecting'

If Jennifer Lopez’ plan was to revitalize her career via “American Idol,” it appears to be working: Though J-Lo’s return to the Fox ratings champ is iffy and she hasn’t seen box office success in more than five years, J.Lo is now in talks for a pair of pics.

One is FilmDistrict’s newly-acquired heist film “Parker,” opposite Jason Statham; the other, Lionsgate’s adaptation of nonfiction bestseller “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” is an ensemble comedy – think “Valentine’s Day” – about five couples preparing for parenthood.

In Taylor Hackford’s “Parker,” Lopez will play an ex-cheerleader turned real estate agent who teams up with a thief, played by Statham, to pull of a daring heist. In Kirk Jones’ “Expecting,” Lopez will play an interior designer who’s unable to get pregnant and decides to adopt an Ethiopian child with her husband, who’s not yet been cast.

Though Lopez has been publicly noncommittal about returning as an “Idol” judge, both pics are skeded to shoot later this summer while the show is on hiatus.

Lopez’ last starring vehicle, CBS Films’ April 2010 rom-com “The Back-Up Plan,” failed to gross $40 million at either the U.S. box office or overseas. Widely cited as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid acresses, Lopez has never had a movie cross the $100 million mark stateside, though “Maid in Manhattan” (2002) rang up more than $94 million domestic, while “Monster in Law” (2005) managed more than $80 million.

But post “Idol,” Lopez saw her single “On the Floor” debut at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 – and now she adds a pair of films to her recent resume.

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