‘Blart’ Part 2 scouts in Mass.

The king of screens

By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa
Boston Herald, The Inside Track
March 26, 2009

Blart is back!

Overachieving made-in-Boston comedy “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” made a whopping $141 million at the box office, so it should come as no surprise that production peeps are already scouting Massachusetts for a sequel.

The Kevin James flick about a policeman wannabe who foils a heist at the mall he is sworn to protect was filmed at the Burlington Mall and South Shore Plaza last year. It cost just $36 million to make and stunned the studio when it pulled in a way-better-than-expected $39.2 million in its opening weekend.

The total domestic haul for the flick was waaaay above the pundits’ wildest dreams for a low-budget comedy with a leading man who, while a success on TV with “King of Queens,” was a big-screen dark horse.

Which is why, we assume, the Happy guys at Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison are rushing into production on “Blart II.”

Word is, location scouts already have scoped out car czar Ernie Boch Jr .’s Ferrari dealership for the flick, which has Paul Blart being fired from his mall cop gig and being forced to find work as a zookeeper at the Franklin Park Zoo.

“One day this beautiful girl comes to the zoo and he asks her out,” Boch told the Track. “She tells him, ‘I can’t go out with you, you feed animals at the zoo for a living!’ So he asks his brother, who runs the Ferrari/ Maserati dealership, for a job and he hires him.”

Both James and Sandler are scheduled to be in Massachusetts to shoot the tentatively titled “Lake House” starting in May. Boch says he’s been told they’ll start “Blart Two” in June or July.

Looks like it’s shaping up to be a rather funny summer!

Stoked for Stooges

And speaking of movies, word from the Left Coast is that the Farrelly Brothers and MGM are closing in on a cast for the Rhode Island filmmakers’ nyuck-nyuck-nyuckfest, “The Three Stooges.”

Variety reports that Sean Penn will follow up his Oscar-winning role in “Milk” by playing middle Stooge Larry. Jim Carrey, who did “Dumb & Dumber” with Bobby and Peter Farrelly, is in negotiations to play Curly and is making plans to gain 40 pounds for the role. The studio is eyeing Benicio Del Toro to play Moe.

The Farrellys have said they hope to film the movie in New England.

Woo, woo, woo!

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