Sony moves Kevin James comedy to summer

Film's release date switches from October to July 8, 2011

Sony took a good look at its recently acquired Kevin James comedy "The Zookeeper" and saw summer sizzler written all over it.

As a result, the likely PG-rated pic is moving from Oct. 8 to July 8, 2011. Sony's delay of the film's release has the dual benefits of a more lucrative boxoffice play period and helping the Culver City studio fill out its release schedule for next year's swimsuit season.

Sony recently acquired control of the project from MGM, its co-producer on "Zookeepers."

"It's got tremendous heart and soul," Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said. "And talking animals? Gimme a break, it's so funny. "

The voice cast includes Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Cher and Rosario Dawson. James and Todd Gardner are producing the pic from Broken Road Prods. and Happy Madison. Jeff Sussman is the executive producer.

Most production on the pic is complete, except for some visual effects involving the talking creatures -- who yack throughout "Zookeeper" with zookeeper James.
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