Ross Lynch to Play Young Jeffrey Dahmer in 'My Friend Dahmer' (Exclusive)

Ross Lynch - Publicity - H 2016
<p>Ross Lynch - Publicity - H 2016</p>   |   Brooklin Rosenstock
Marc Meyers is directing the adaptation of Derf Backderf's critically acclaimed graphic novel.

Teen Beach Movie star Ross Lynch has signed on to play infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the indie My Friend Dahmer.

Lynch will play Dahmer in his high school years in the adaptation of Derf Backderf's 1970s-set graphic novel of the same name. Marc Meyers (How He Fell In Love) wrote the script, which was featured on the 2014 Black List, and will direct the project.

The coming-of-age story centers on the young Dahmer as he struggles with a difficult family life and thoughts of wanting to kill.

Adam Goldworm and Aperture Entertainment are producing the indie, along with Meyers and Jody Girgenti via this Ibid Filmworks banner. Milan Chakraborty of Attic Light Films and Michael Merlob also are producing. It is slated to shoot in August in Ohio.

Dahmer is one of the world's most infamous serial killers who raped and murdered 17 men and boys in the late 1970s through the early 1990s. The gory tales of his murders often involved dismemberment and cannibalism. Dahmer, who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and a psychotic disorder, was killed in prison by a fellow inmate in 1994. A compelling subject, he was previously played onscreen by Jeremy Renner in 2002 indie Dahmer. The actor received an Indie Spirit Award for the role, which helped launch his career.

Playing the part of Dahmer should allow Lynch, who started out his career on Disney Channel's hit series Austin & Ally and starred in Teen Beach Movie and its sequel, to stretch some new acting muscles with a darker role. Lynch, who also performs music as part of pop-rock band R5, is having a busy summer: He's wrapping work on Adam Shankman's Status Update, which is directed by Scott Speer and also stars Courtney Eaton and Olivia Holt, and then will appear in the Hollywood Bowl’s production of A Chorus Line in late July before moving on to shoot My Friend Dahmer.

Lynch is repped by UTA, Savage Agency, Principato-Young Entertainment and Felker Toczek.

Meyers, who previously helmed 2010’s Harvest, is repped by UTA, Aperture and Bloom Hergott.