Hit comedy Bruce Almighty is heading back to the big screen as a vehicle for JIM CAREY's sidekick in the original movie, Steve Carell.

The funnyman, who played a bumbling TV news man in the first film, has signed on to recreate his role in the sequel Evan Almighty.

Carell's star is on the rise after scoring hits on TV in the US version of British comedy The Office and in surprise movie hit THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, which topped the box office charts in America last weekend (21AUG05).

He's expected to earn 10 times more than the $500,000 (GBP277,800) he made for The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Carey and Jennifer Aniston won't return for the sequel, but Morgan Freeman is expected to reprise his role as GOD.

In Evan Almighty, God will set Carell's character the task of building an ark in preparation for a great flood.