It's 'Happening' for Deschanel at Fox


Zooey Deschanel has signed on to star opposite Mark Wahlberg in M. Night Shyamalan's natural-disaster actioner "The Happening" for 20th Century Fox.

Penned by Shyamalan, the story revolves around a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity. With plot details under wraps, the studio would only confirm that Deschanel will play the female lead.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in August in Philadelphia.

Shyamalan is producing the film through his Blinding Edge Pictures alongside Samuel Mercer and Barry Mendel. Jose Rodriguez will associate produce.

UTV Motion Pictures is co-financing the midbudget project.

Deschanel, whose credits include "Bridge to Terabithia," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Elf," lends her voice to the upcoming animated family film "Surf's Up." She also will appear in the Brad Pitt starrer "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

She is repped by CAA, Seven Summits Pictures & Management and attorney Steve Warren.