Fox taps ‘Madagascar’ director for ‘RentaGhost’

Tom McGrath in talks to helm comedy starring Ben Stiller

Animation director Tom McGrath is looking at the afterlife and in talks to direct Fox comedy “RentaGhost,” starring Ben Stiller.

Project would be McGrath’s debut directing gig in live action. It would also re-team Stiller with McGrath, who co-directed all three “Madagascar” toons, in which Stiller voices Alex the lion.

McGrath also directed “Megamind.”

Stiller boarded “RentaGhost” last fall for Fox, which had acquired the comedy from Warner Bros., where Russell Brand had been set to star.

“Night at the Museum” writers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant are penning the script based on the BBC childrens’ comedy skein that ran for 58 episodes between 1976 and 1984. It centers on a recently deceased 27-year-old man who, determined to be more productive in the afterlife, creates RentaGhost, leasing ghouls, ghosts and other specters to the living.

Kevin McCormick (“Gangster Squad”) is producing through his Langley Park shingle with BermanBraun’s Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Patrick Pidgeon. Andrew Mittman is co-producing.

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