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Vanessa Hudgens eyes lead in 'Journey' sequel (exclusive)

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens is in final negotiations to play the female lead in New Line's "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," the sequel to "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D."

Brad Peyton is on board to direct the film, in which Josh Hutcherson is reprising his role as burgeoning explorer Sean Anderson. Dwayne Johnson is also starring in the pic being produced by Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson of Contrafilm. Charlotte Huggins is also producing.

The story sees Hutcherson and Johnson forced to go a trip to a mythical and monstrous island to find his missing grandfather (Michael Caine). The script is loosely based on Jules Verne's "The Mysterious Island."

Hudgens plays a Pacific Islander who gets swept into the adventure and end up falling for Hutcherson.

Production is eyeing a late October start in North Carolina and Hawaii.

Hudgens, repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment, next stars in the all-girl, all-kick butt Zack Snyder production "Sucker Punch."