EXCLUSIVE: Kevin James, who rose to success via comedies from CBS’ long-running The King of Queens to films like Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Grown Ups, is flipping the script. He has come aboard the action thriller Becky, where he is set to play the baddie opposite Annabelle: Creation and The Haunting of Hill House star Lulu Wilson.

James replaces Simon Pegg, who had been attached to the villain role in the pic from Yale Productions and BoulderLight Pictures. Producers cited a scheduling conflict as the reason for Pegg’s exit.

The pic, being directed by Bushwick helmers Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion from a script by Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye and Lane Skye, centers on rebellious 14-year-old Becky (Wilson) as she’s brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father in an effort to try to reconnect after her mother’s death. The trip takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts on the run, led by the merciless Dominick (James), suddenly invade the lake house. Becky, not daddy’s little girl anymore, decides to take matters into her own hands.

Yale Productions’ Jordan Yale Levine, Jordan Beckerman and Russ Posternak are producing with BoulderLight’s Raphael Margules and J.D. Lifshitz. Highland Film Group kicked off international sales this spring in Cannes, and UTA Independent Film Group is repping domestic rights.

James, who returned to TV comedy in 2016 with CBS’ Kevin Can Wait, which lasted two seasons, most recently reprised his Frankenstein voice role in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. He is repped by UTA, Jeff Sussman Management and Schreck Rose Dapello.

By Patrick Hipes, Deadline