'Starship' troupers: 3 board Fox pic


Gabrielle Union, Ed Helms and Elizabeth Banks are joining Eddie Murphy's crew in "Starship Dave" for 20th Century Fox.

The fish-out-of-water comedy that reteams Murphy with his "Norbit" director, Brian Robbins, will see Union and Helms playing crew members of a spaceship that takes the shape of a human. Banks will play Murphy's love interest.

Shooting is set to begin in the next few weeks.

David T. Friendly is producing through his Deep River Prods. along with Jon Berg and Todd Komarnicki for Guy Walks Into a Bar. Fox vp production Steve Asbell will oversee for the studio.

Based on a script by Rob Greenberg and Bill Corbett, "Starship" centers on a spaceship that takes the form of a human (Murphy). It's operated by 100 human-looking, quarter-inch-tall aliens seeking a way to save their planet. Complications ensue when their captain (also played by Murphy) falls in love with an Earth woman who always picks losers to date.

Union, who plays the chief cultural officer of the miniature crew, is starring in "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls." She next appears in the television series "Football Wives" for ABC. Union is repped by UTA and managed by Jeff Morrone.

Helms is playing the diminutive crew's uptight second-in- command. The comedic actor next appears in Universal Pictures' "Evan Almighty," which stars his "Office" co-star Steve Carell. Helms is a recurring cast member in "Office" for NBC. He is repped by CAA. Management is through Peter Principato and Allen Fisher. Ira Schreck is his attorney.

Banks will portray Gina, a hip, downtown artist who befriends Murphy's character Dave during his time on Earth. She next appears in Sony's "Spider-Man 3" and "Fred Claus" for Warner Bros. Pictures. She has a recurring role on NBC's "Scrubs." She is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.