Newcomer Paul Rust (Semi-Pro) will star in the Fox Atomic teen comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper, says Variety. Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes”) has already boarded the film as the eponymous character.
Jack Carpenter, Lauren Storm and Lauren London have also joined the project, which follows the adventures of a geeky high school valedictorian (Rust) who decides he has nothing to lose by making a play for the popular cheerleader (Panettiere) and declares his love for her during his graduation speech.
Chris Columbus will direct the film, which he is also producing through his 1492 Pictures. Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe also produce.
The project is based on a novel by former “Simpsons” writer Larry Doyle, who wrote the screenplay. Shooting is scheduled to start next month in Vancouver.