Kevin James Collars New Director for ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop’ Sequel

Andy Fickman is in talks to direct the comedy for Sony Pictures and Happy Madison

Last Updated: July 10, 2014 @ 7:31 PM

85811121It’s peanut blart and jelly time once again, as Sony Pictures and Happy Madison are moving forward with a sequel to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” that will be directed by Andy Fickman (“Parental Guidance”), an individual familiar with the project told TheWrap.

Kevin James is set to reprise his role as New Jersey’s finest security guard, though there’s no word on whether scene-stealer Pahud (Adhir Kalyan) will return for the sequel. Kalyan’s well-received performance led to a regular role on Happy Madison’s CBS series “Rules of Engagement.”

James co-wrote the sequel with Nick Bakay and will produce with Todd Garner and Happy Madison principal Adam Sandler. Production could start as soon as April.

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Steve Carr directed the first “Paul Blart,” which was a surprise hit several years ago, beating Seth Rogen‘s “Observe and Report” to theaters by three months en route to grossing $146 million at the U.S. box office.

While the original 2009 comedy was set in New Jersey, it was actually filmed at the Burlington Mall and the South Shore Plaza in Massachusetts, where James has also filmed “Here Comes the Boom” and “Grown Ups 2.”

Fickman may be the perfect choice to direct a movie about a prat-falling mall cop, given the fact that his production company is called Oops Doughnuts.

Also Read: Kevin James Signs on for Lionsgate Series

Fickman is a Disney favorite who directed Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in “The Game Plan” and “Race to Witch Mountain.” He recently directed the Billy Crystal-Bette Midler comedy “Parental Guidance,” which grossed $119 million worldwide on a $25 million production budget. The filmmaker is represented by WME and Management 360.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news.