EXCLUSIVE: New Line has attached Eddie Murphy to star, and Tim Story to direct and produce, an untitled comedy inspired by the hit Walter Matthau-Jack Lemmon comedy Grumpy Old Men. John Davis is producing through his Davis Entertainment banner. He produced the original.

In the 1993 comedy, two lifelong neighbors who’ve been feuding since childhood find their dislike for one another exacerbated by the presence of a new neighbor who leaves each of them smitten. Ann-Margret played the neighbor and Donald Petrie directed it. They haven’t gotten as far as figuring out who’ll play opposite Murphy, but I have heard Samuel L. Jackson’s name as an inspired idea. He and Story just wrapped Shaft. 

Warner Bros

Story will produce through his The Story Company banner, and The Story Company’s Sharla Sumpter Bridgett is also producing. Story has directed eight studio features and he became the first African American director to cross the $1 billion mark in global grosses, this before Ryan Coogler hit that mark with Black Panther. Seven of Story’s films debuted No. 1 at the box office: Ride Along 2, Think Like A Man Too, Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four and Barbershop. Story is currently in post-production on Shaft, the New Line film that stars Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Alexandra Shipp and Regina Hall. That film bows June 14, 2019.

Murphy just wrapped the Craig Brewer-directed Dolemite Is My Name, playing self-made iconic blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore.

Murphy is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham, and Story by UTA and the same law firm.