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‘Houseguest’ makes room for Hartman

Joe Roth and Roger Birnbaum’s Caravan Pictures has inked an agreement with comedian Phil Hartman to star opposite Sinbad in the $ 12 million production “Houseguest,” which is set to start lensing in May, sources said Monday.

Described as a twisted “Man Who Came to Dinner,” the pic is about a dysfunctional suburban white family that takes in a black houseguest, only to discover that he’s not the man he was supposed to be.

The screenplay was penned by Randy Miller and Jody Savin. Pic will be directed by Miller.

Hartman, in his last year on the “Saturday Night Live” cast, who recently appeared in Universal Pictures’ “Greedy,” was represented in negotiations by William Morris Agency veepee Michael Gruber. The project is being spearheaded at Caravan by Riley Kathryn Ellis, who ankled 20th Century Fox in January to take a top production job at Caravan.

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