Bella Thorne to Co-Star in Teen Comedy ‘The DUFF’ for CBS Films (Exclusive)

Ari Sandel is directing the movie, which will star “Parenthood” actress Mae Whitman

Bella Thorne may have graduated from the Disney Channel but she’s heading back to high school for her next movie, as she’s nearing a deal to star alongside Mae Whitman in CBS Films’ comedy “The DUFF,” TheWrap has learned.

Ari Sandel is directing from a script by Josh A. Cagan, who adapted the novel by Kody Keplinger.

Also read: Disney Channel Star Bella Thorne Set for New ‘Amityville’ Horror Movie (Exclusive)

Story follows Bianca (Whitman), a high school senior whose world is turned upside down when she discovers she’s been labeled her social group’s DUFF (designated ugly fat friend), a sidekick of sorts to her prettier, more popular friends. She becomes determined to reinvent herself, enlisting her fellow DUFFs in a scheme to overthrow Madison, the school’s evil queen.

Thorne is in negotiations to play Madison, who will do everything in her power to keep Bianca in her place as a DUFF.

McG and Mary Viola are producing for Wonderland Sound and Vision along with Vast Entertainment’s Lane Shefter Bishop, who brought the book to Wonderland. CBS Films boarded the project in 2011, and its executives Mark Ross and Alex Ginno will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

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Production is expected to start this summer in Atlanta.

Thorne, who starred on the hit Disney Channel series “Shake It Up!,” recently landed the lead role in Franck Khalfoun‘s “Amityville” movie, which is being produced by Dimension Films and Jason Blum‘s Blumhouse banner. She’ll soon be seen in the Adam Sandler comedy “Blended,” Voltage Pictures’ thriller “Home Invasion” and the Disney movie “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

Thorne is represented by WME, LBI Entertainment and attorney Howard Fishman.