*Eddie Murphy has just signed on to star in “Tower Heist,” the crime caper that he was originally going to lead when the project was first conceived in 2005 as an all-black version of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

According to EW.com’s Hollywood Insider, the original idea of an African-American “Ocean’s Eleven” was hatched in a conversation between Murphy and producer Brian Grazer.

Fast-forward five years — and a slew of different screenwriters — and Murphy is now joining white co-star Ben Stiller, who plays an overworked manager of a Manhattan luxury high-rise.

Stiller’s character teams up with Murphy’s operation and maintenance workers to stage a heist of its penthouse tenant, a Wall Street capitalist, played by Alan Alda, who defrauded the staff of their pensions.

Brett Ratner is directing and production is set to begin by the end of the year.