Steve Martin Gets 'Cheaper' and Ghostly

03/11/2003 AT 01:00 PM EST

Steve Martin is on a roll. His new comedy with Queen Latifah, "Bringing Down the House," defied critics to become last weekend's No. 1 movie, making an impressive $31.7 million.

Then, on March 23, the wild and crazy guy -- and established playwright and novelist -- will host a little gig called the 75th annual Oscars.

Now, he has two big new movies in the pipeline -- both remakes of popular old movies, Variety reports.

The first is "Cheaper By the Dozen," which in 1950 starred Clifton Webb as real-life, turn-of-the-century efficiency expert Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Myrna Loy as his wife, Ann. The couple happened to have 12 children.

Martin, 57, will play Gilbreth in the remake, and Bonnie Hunt (TV's "Life With Bonnie") will costar, says the trade paper. Production is due to begin later this month.

Martin's other remake will be "Topper," which in 1937 starred Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as a pair of madcap ghosts, George and Marion Kirby, who upset the daily life of stuffy banker Cosmo Topper (Roland Young).

In 1953, there also was a "Topper" TV series, starring Robert Sterling and his wife, Ann Jeffreys, as the ghosts, and Leo G. Carroll as the banker. A young Stephen Sondheim, who today is a Broadway composing legend, wrote several of the scripts.

So far, says Variety, there is no start date for Martin's "Topper" movie.

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