EXCLUSIVE: Studios and mini-majors must be hungry for product, because yet another star-attached picture is about to get snapped up. Lionsgate has made a preemptive bid for Take My Wife, and is negotiating to acquire a comedy that teams Dwayne Johnson and Tyler Perry. Lionsgate got first crack because Perry is a cornerstone filmmaker for the mini-major. While he usually plays regular and drag roles in the films he directs -- a small role in Star Trek was the exception -- this time he'll be playing a lead role in a movie he's not directing.
In Take My Wife, Perry will play a recently divorced man who realizes the only way to get out of paying alimony to his ex is to find her a new husband. He sets about transforming a rough-around-the-edges guy (Johnson) into a paramour who can be her ideal mate. After his Cyrano act creates the new love match, the divorced guy falls back in love with his wife and has to compete for her affections. Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward wrote the script. Perry will produce through his 34th Street banner with Matt Moore and Ozzie Areu. Johnson and producing partner Dany Garcia are executive producers along with Chris Cowles and Chris Fenton. Perry's For Colored Girls will be released November 5 by Lionsgate, and he is filming Madea's Big Happy Family. Johnson has Faster coming out November 24 and just wrapped The Fast And The Furious 5. He'll next star in the 3D Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel. CAA reps Johnson, WME reps Perry.