Selena Gomez, Joey King book 'Beezus'

Duo will play sisters from popular Beverly Cleary series

In a pairing designed to get tweens texting each other the news, teen stars Selena Gomez and Joey King have been cast as sisters in "Beezus and Ramona," a film adaptation of the "Ramona" book series by Beverly Cleary.

Gomez will play Beezus, the older sister to the energetic, accident-prone Ramona, who will be played by King.

Elizabeth Allen ("Aquamarine") will direct a screenplay by Laurie Craig and Nick Pustay. Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan are producing for Fox 2000 Pictures and Walden Media.

Fox has scheduled a March 19, 2010, release for the film.

Fox 2000 conducted a nationwide casting call for Ramona, and the role ultimately went to the 9-year-old King after she successfully completed a screen test. The young actress, who has been working since age 4 and is repped by Coast to Coast Talent, has already collected credits that include "CSI," "Medium," "Jericho" and "Entourage."

Gomez, repped by CAA, stars in Disney Channel's "The Wizards of Waverly Place," and is working on an album.

Cleary's popular "Ramona" book series, published between 1955 and 1999, follow the childhood adventures of Ramona Geradline Quimby in Portland, Ore.
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