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Kevin Hart is ready to show off his serious side.

The comedian will star in Sony Pictures’ “Fatherhood,” a big-screen adaptation of the Matt Logelin bestseller “Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love.” The film, which centers on a widower who must raise his daughter after his wife dies in childbirth, is directed by Paul Weitz (“About a Boy”).

Hart just scored a box office hit with “The Upside,” another change-of-pace role. Its success came despite controversy surrounding Hart’s selection as Oscar host. He abandoned the emcee gig amid blowback over homophobic jokes he made earlier in his career. Hart had been alternately apologetic and defiant while promoting “The Upside,” a stance that further inflamed the controversy.

Hart will shoot “Fatherhood” after he wraps up the sequel to “Jumanji.” His other movies include “Night School,” “Get Hard,” and “Central Intelligence.”

Dana Stevens adapted Logelin’s book, with Weitz providing his own draft. Marty Bowen (Temple Hill), David Beaubaire, Peter Kiernan (Free Association), and Hart and John Cheng (HartBeat) will produce the movie.

Sony is beginning a nationwide search for the actress to play Hart’s daughter in the film.

Weitz is represented by UTA and attorney Alex Kohner at Morris Yorn. Stevens is represented by WME. Hart is represented by UTA, 3 Arts, and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham. Brittany Morrissey will oversee the pic for the studio.

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