The studio has signed up the CBS sitcom star for his first feature film, an action-comedy titled Action Abramowitz, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Romano, who last week picked up two Emmy nominations for producing and starring in Everybody Loves Raymond, will play an accountant who gets bonked on the head and begins to believe he's an action hero.
"The lead in this movie has to be someone that audiences can relate to, and Ray has a subtle star power that was perfect for the role," Action Abramowitz producer Noah Emmerich tells the Reporter. "He was our first choice from the very beginning, and we are thrilled to have him aboard.
That subtle star power stuff notwithstanding, Romano draws more 20 million viewers each week to Everybody Loves Raymond, and New Line surely hopes it can translate that audience into ticket-buying moviegoers.
Technically, Action Abramowitz will be Romano's first live-action feature. He voiced the character of Manfred the woolly mammoth in Fox's hit 'toon Ice Age.
Romano has been flirting with the big screen for several years. Two years ago, he was reported be working with fellow CBS star Kevin James and Swingers writer Jon Favreau on a screenplay for a romantic comedy that would have starred him and James. He was also attached to the MGM comedy The Tree, about a lumberjack who brings the national Christmas tree from Washington state to Washington, D.C. Neither project has gotten off the drawing board, however.
Action Abramowitz will shoot in the spring during Romano's regular hiatus from Raymond and likely hit screens in 2004.