November 08, 2010 at 06:15 PM EST

Image Credit: Solarpix/PR Photos; Amanda Meredith/PR PhotosLife after Heroes is looking good for Hayden Panettiere. With Scream 4 hitting theaters in April, she’s set to start filming American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis’ adaptation of the Michael Hornburg novel Downers Grove with Twilight star Nikki Reed this spring. They’ll play seniors at a suburban high school where each year, one student dies a bizarre death before graduation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Panettiere will take the role of Chrissie, who’s convinced she’s this year’s victim. (In the book, a jock she beat up when he tried to attack her is out for revenge with the help of his buddies.) Presumably, that makes Reed Chrissie’s best friend, Tracy, described on the book jacket as being “hornier than a Prince song.” (Oh, the ’90s.) Nelson McCormick (Prom Night) will direct. Rebecca De Mornay (always scary) has also joined the cast.

What do you think? Ellis signed on to adapt the book in 2008, so we assume the script has got a nice polish by now. It doesn’t sound like your typical teen slasher film (more dark and clever, like Heathers), so it could be a smart move for both Panettiere and Reed, who can capitalize on that genre’s audience while not getting pigeon-holed into the genre itself.

Read more:

Hayden Panetierre in talks for ‘Scream 4.’ Should she trade the small screen for the big screen?

Ellis adapting Hornburg’s ‘Downers Grove’

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