Jack Black parts ways with "Man-Witch"

Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:32am EDT
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By Steven Zeitchik

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Jack Black has exited the supernatural comedy "Man-Witch," in which he was to play the title role.

When the star was attached to the feature in 2007, it was notable as the first collaboration between the boxoffice-drawing comic actor and Todd Phillips, the force behind such comedy powerhouses as "Old School" (which Phillips directed, co-wrote and produced) and "Borat" (on which he was one of the writers.)

"Man-Witch" centers on a man who discovers he's a witch and heads off to teach at a female witch school; Phillips is set to produce and, likely, to direct the Warner Brothers project.

Sources said that the decision this week to part ways may have originated from Black's camp, which had questions about Phillips' commitment to direct the picture before "Hangover," another comedy said to be close to the helmer's heart. That project is also set up at Warners.

Warners confirmed the departure but declined to provide further detail. A spokesperson for Black said the star had no comment. A spokesperson for Creative Artists Agency, which represents Phillips, declined to comment.

The actor's departure has not affected the status of the movie, which remains in active development. Warners and Phillips are said to be combing a list of stars to replace the funnyman.

Black stars in the upcoming comedy ensemble "Tropic Thunder" as well as in the Judd Apatow-produced "Year One."

The Black-voiced "Kung-Fu Panda" was the top-grossing movie at the boxoffice last weekend, surpassing expectations by earning more than $60 million domestically.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Jack Black holds up his shirt as Robert Downey Jr. signs his chest at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, June 1, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>