Don't look now, friends, but Tyler Perry is slowly taking over the world. Despite a lukewarm critical reaction, his Madea's Family Reunion topped the box office for its first two weeks of release, and has earned revenues of nearly 10 times its budget in less than a month. And two weeks ago, he signed an unusual deal making his sitcom (House of Payne) available for first-run syndication. Though Perry won't star in the show, he is a writer and producer and is likely to make guest appearances; Payne is expected to air some time this summer.

Now comes the news of a new deal with Lionsgate, the company that is reaping the rewards of Madea's tremendous popularity: Perry will write, produce, and direct a drag-free new project called Daddy's Little Girl for the studio. The movie is a reverse take on the Cinderella story in which "a young, beautiful, successful female attorney...falls in love with a janitor and single father of three daughters." Though her dad, inevitably, objects - hence the title - everything works out ok in the end. (Clearly I'm really stupid, because this doesn't sound anything like Cinderella to me. Where are the nasty step-sisters/brothers? The evil stepmother?)

Because Perry is just that big of a cash cow, Lionsgate are pushing this one ahead at lightning speed - they hope to start shooting by June, and have the movie in theaters less than a year from now.