Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer has had the breakout year of a lifetime, earning Oscar buzz and glowing critical acclaim for work in The Help, but now it looks like her 2012 could bring some stiff competition. Mandate Pictures announced via release on Monday that Spencer has joined the cast of Oscar-winning Juno scribe Diablo Cody’s directorial debut. The film is based on Cody’s original screenplay, and will also star Russell Brand and Footloose star Julianne Hough.

The comedy follows Hough’s character, a formerly sheltered young woman who loses her faith after a devastating plane crash and decides to head to Las Vegas to experience a new slice of life. On the way she meets Brand and Spencer’s characters, and they inadvertently help her discover her “true self.” Mandate president Nathan Kahane (50/50) will act as execute producer alongside Cody, with Mason Novick (500 Days of Summer) set to produce. Production is slated to begin next spring.