updated 01/17/2008 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/17/2008 AT 9:25 AM ET
The budding movie career of Hayden Panettiere may be getting an even further boost.
TV’s Heroes star, 18, and Night at the Museum and Harry Potter producer-director Chris Columbus are in talks about her starring in I Love You, Beth Cooper, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Panettiere’s role: The hot cheerleader Beth, to whom her high school’s dorky valedictorian professes his love in his graduation speech. The script is by Larry Doyle, a former writer for The Simpsons who is now with The New Yorker magazine.
Panettiere, meanwhile, will be seen later this year in a drama about a family facing tragedy, Fireflies in the Garden, starring Julia Roberts. Panettiere plays the younger version of the character who grows up and is played by Emily Watson.
– Stephen M. Silverman