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‘Project X’ Star Thomas Mann to Join Olivia Cooke in ‘Me & Earl & the Dying Girl’ (Exclusive)

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will direct the Indian Paintbrush movie, which Jesse Andrews adapted from his own novel

“Project X” star Thomas Mann is in talks to star opposite Olivia Cooke (“Bates Motel”) in the Indian Paintbrush movie “Me & Earl & the Dying Girl,” an individual familiar with the project told TheWrap.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (“The Town That Dreaded Sundown”) will direct, while Dan Fogelman (“Imagine”) will produce. Jesse Andrews adapted his own debut novel, and the screenplay was voted to the Top 10 of the 2012 Black List.

Also read: ‘Project X’ Star Thomas Mann Joins Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell Comedy (Exclusive)

A coming-of-age tale in the vein of classic John Hughes movies, “Me & Earl” follows a quirky high school student (Mann) in Pittsburgh who is forced by his mother to befriend a sick girl (Cooke) he once knew when they attended Hebrew school together. Well-liked by every clique in school without actually belonging to any of them, the young man’s commitment to the new friendship changes his life.

Neither Mann nor Cooke’s deals have closed just yet, but both are expected to in the coming days.

Mann, who is best known for playing the lead in “Project X,” recently wrapped Kyle Newman’s “Barely Lethal” with Hailee Steinfeld and Jessica Alba. He’ll soon be seen opposite Kristen Wiig in “Welcome to Me” and alongside James Franco in “Memoria.”

The 22-year-old actor, who has co-starred in big studio movies such as “Beautiful Creatures” and “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” also leads the indie movie “Outliving Emily,” which co-stars Zosia Mamet (“Girls”) and Adam Rose (“Up in the Air”).

Mann is represented by Innovative Artists, Industry Entertainment and attorney Adam Kaller.

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