February 13, 2009

Kevin James to star in ‘Zookeeper’

Hollywood's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures announced Friday it has signed Kevin James to headline its big-screen comedy, The Zookeeper.

James has starred in the movies Paul Blart: Mall Cop, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Hitch, as well as in the sit-com The King of Queens.

The decision to cast him in Zookeeper, to be directed by Frank Coraci, was announced Friday by Mary Parent, chairman of the Worldwide Motion Picture Group at MGM.

Not only does Kevin help fully realize the comedic potential of the piece but he also brings a humanity and vulnerability to the character, coupled with Frank's energy behind the camera this film is going to be a blast for audiences, Parent said in a statement.

In the film, James will play the title character -- an amiable, but lonely guy who has never quite fit in and decides he needs to leave the zoo, get a life and find somebody to love. When the zoo animals who adore him discover his plans to leave, they break their code of silence and reveal they can not only talk, but have a wealth of mating advice they want to share with him, MGM said.

Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company is producing with James, Jeff Sussman and Todd Garner.

Coraci previously directed the Sandler comedies The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy and Click.