Chris Columbus may direct Ripleys Believe It Or Not!

Paramount may have found the director to drag Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! from development hell: Chris Columbus.

The Harry Potter helmer, who last directed Rent (and has just finished comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper), is in talks to take over the biopic of explorer/newspaper columnist Robert Ripley.

Jim Carrey still wants to star as the man who brought the world the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Column, which led to the museums around the world, reports Variety .

Tim Burton

The film had been set for Tim Burton to direct last year before budget issues saw Paramount shut it down a few months ahead of Burton’s planned shooting start in China.

Now the studio has a new concept in hand thanks to Columbus, which ditches all the pricey China shooting and apparently has Carrey’s seal of approval.

They’ll all have to wait, though – Columbus is scheduled to make Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief next while he waits for the Ripley script to be developed.

Still Paramount wants the film – in which it sees franchise potential – in cinemas by 2011. We’ll believe it when we see it. Or not. Geddit? Or Not? Oh, suit yerselves.