Story will lay down shears for ‘Ralph’

Pic has potential to be Murphy starrer

“Barbershop” helmer Tim Story has signed on to direct “Ralph,” which Imagine Entertainment and Universal are developing.

Story of a black architect who wakes up one day in an all-white world that’s never seen blacks before is being eyed as a possible Eddie Murphy vehicle.

Helmer found himself a suddenly hot commodity after last year’s “Barbershop” turned into a surprise hit, grossing $75 million. Story passed, however, on directing the sequel.

Along with “Ralph,” he is attached to direct “Society Cab” for Universal and Tom Hanks’ shingle Playtone and romantic comedy “Date School” for DreamWorks.

“Ralph,” scripted by Jordan Moffet (“Like Mike”), is based on Urban Entertainment’s Internet cartoon “Pookie Poo,” written by A.J. Jamal.

For a while, the film project was known by the “Pookie Poo” moniker. On Wednesday, Daily Variety was advised it was going by “Ralph,” only to be told later it was still “Pookie Poo.” Finally, “Ralph” prevailed.

“Ralph” will be produced by Imagine’s Brian Grazer. Urban Entertainment’s Michael Jenkinson and Damon Lee are exec producers.

Overseeing the project are Universal execs Scott Stuber and Donna Langley and Imagine’s Kim Roth and David Bernardi.

Story and Murphy are both repped by William Morris.

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