Company in final talks to distribute multihyphenate's next film

Just as Tyler Perry branches out as the star of Summit’s thriller “Alex Cross,” Lionsgate is in final negotiations to distribute the prolific multihyphenate’s next film, “Single Mom’s Club.”

Perry is expected to write, direct, produce and star in the pic, which follows a group of single mothers from different walks of life who are brought together by an incident at their children’s school. They bond and create a support group that helps them find comedy in the obstacles of life, as well as their inner strength to overcome their personal challenges.

Perry will produce along with Ozzie Areu and Matt Moore. Production is expected to start next month in Atlanta, where Perry’s shingle is based.

Back in March 2011, the studio extended its first-look deal with Perry for another two years, after initially partnering with the filmmaker in 2005. Perry’s pics have grossed more than $650 million worldwide and sold nearly 50 million units on DVD.

This weekend finds Perry taking over for Morgan Freeman as the title character in “Alex Cross,” which is based on the bestselling series of books by James Patterson. Pic is the first Perry will star in that he hasn’t written, directed and produced, but Summit is hoping his sizable fanbase will come out to support him in the sort of mid-budget thriller that studios rarely make these days.

As writer, director and producer, Perry recently wrapped Lions-gate’s drama “The Marriage Counselor.” Pic, which co-stars Kim Kardashian, is skedded for release March 29. Just a few weeks later, Lionsgate will release the Perry-produced comedy “We the Peeples” on May 10.

Perry remains active on the TV side, recently transitioning from TBS to Oprah Winfrey’s cable network OWN, where he’ll launch two new series next year, serving as writer, director and exec producer. Since 2007, he has produced a trio of series for TBS and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury syndication arm, including “House of Payne,” “Meet the Browns” and “For Better or Worse.”

Perry is repped by WME and attorney Matt Johnson of Ziffren Brittenham.

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