Atomic pair: Panettiere, pom-poms

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CORRECTED 3:03 p.m. PT Jan. 17

Hayden Panettiere may be wearing a new cheerleading uniform.

The "Heroes" actress is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox and its Fox Atomic label to star in the teen coming-of-age movie "I Love You, Beth Cooper."

Chris Columbus and his 1492 Pictures partners, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe, are producing. Columbus also is in talks to direct.

"Cooper" is based on the novel by Larry Doyle, a former writer for "The Simpsons." Doyle also penned the screenplay and is an executive producer on the project.

Panettiere would play Beth, the school's hottest cheerleader who shows nerdy valedictorian Denis Cooverman the best night of his life after he proclaims his love for her during his graduation speech.

The studio is aiming to start filming in the spring. Debbie Liebling and Zak Kadison are overseeing for Fox Atomic.

Panettiere, best known as cheerleader Claire Bennet on NBC's "Heroes," recently wrapped filming "Fireflies in the Garden" for Senator International, which stars Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds and Willem Dafoe. She is repped by WMA and Brookside Artist Management.

Columbus, who is gearing up to produce "Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian" for Fox, was most recently in the director's chair for 2005's "Rent." He is repped by CAA.

Doyle is repped by CAA. His upcoming projects include the sci-fi comedy "Me2" for Disney, which he pre-emptively sold to the studio. Mark Waters ("The Spiderwick Chronicles") is attached to direct.
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