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Gosnell to helm, Lawrence topline 'House'

Raja Gosnell, the helmer behind the recent Drew Barrymore-starrer “Never Been Kissed,” is set to direct “Big Momma’s House” for 20th Century Fox.

Martin Lawrence will topline the Darryl Quarles-scripted “House” (Daily Variety, Feb. 25), which is being co-financed by New Regency Prods. Both Lawrence and Gosnell have pay-or-play deals on the pic, which is slated to go before the cameras in late September in Los Angeles.

David Friendly is producing along with Lawrence’s manager Michael Green. Lawrence and Jeff Kwatinetz will serve as exec producers.

In the caper comedy, Lawrence will star as an undercover cop and master of disguise, who, in the course of an investigation, impersonates several people, including an extended ruse as Big Momma, a Southern grandmother.

In addition to “Big Momma’s House,” Fox extended its relationship with Gosnell by signing the helmer to develop its big-budget Marvel comics property “Fantastic Four” (Daily Variety, July 13), which is being viewed as Gosnell’s follow-up to “Big Momma’s.”

Editor-turned-helmer Gosnell made his directorial debut on Fox Family Films’ “Home Alone 3” in 1997, which he followed with Fox 2000’s “Never Been Kissed.”

As an editor, Gosnell cut such Fox pics as “Nine Months,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2.”

Gosnell is repped by United Talent Agency and the law firm Hansen, Jacobson, Teller and Hoberman.