Posted: Tue., Sep. 16, 2008, 9:00pm PT

Miley Cyrus to star in Disney film

Nicholas Sparks writing untitled adaptation

Cyrus

By Michael Fleming
Variety

Disney has set Miley Cyrus to star in an untitled film that is being tailor-made for the "Hannah Montana" star by author Nicholas Sparks.

Sparks is writing an untitled novel and simultaneously working on a screenplay adaptation for the film, which will be produced by Disney-based Offspring Entertainment partners Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot.

Tish Cyrus will be exec producer.

Gibgot said the project came about after Disney exec Jason Reed met with the actress, who is slowly broadening her image and transitioning to adult fare. She mentioned "A Walk to Remember" as an example of what she hoped for.

Sparks came back with a premise for a novel that intrigued Cyrus, her family and the producers. They are keeping the plot under wraps.

"A Walk to Remember" moved Mandy Moore away from a pop persona, and similarly, Cyrus wonít sing but only act in the Sparks drama that touches on family and romance.

Sparks told Daily Variety that his first priority is to generate a novel that stands up with his reading audience. The book will be published in fall 2009 by Grand Central Publishing.

"This is similar to the way itís gone with movies based on my novels; itís just out of order," Sparks said. "Certain opportunities garner your interest, and this was one of those."

Miley Cyrus and her family, he added, "were very familiar with the work Iíve done in the past. That played a role in this project coming together."

The authorís books "The Notebook," "A Walk to Remember" and "Message in a Bottle" were previously turned into star-driven films, with the Richard Gere-Diane Lane starrer "Nights in Rodanthe" to be released by Warner Bros. on Sept. 26 and "Dear John" about to begin production.
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