Lucy Punch cast in 'Bad Teacher'  

Actress will star opposite Cameron Diaz in black comedy

Lucy Punch has been cast opposite Cameron Diaz in the black comedy "Bad Teacher," which Jake Kasdan is directing for Columbia.

Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg wrote the original screenplay about Elizabeth Halsey (Diaz), a foul-mouthed, conniving seventh-grade teacher who pursues a colleague after being dumped by her sugar daddy. The new romantic interest brings her into conflict with Amy Squirrel (Punch), the school's model teacher.

Jimmy Miller is producing the feature, which starts filming next month in Los Angeles.

Punch, a Brit who is repped by ICM, Benderspink and United Agents in the U.K., next appears in the Jay Roach-directed Paramount/DreamWorks/Spyglass comedy "Dinner for Schmucks," which hits theaters in July. After that, she stars in Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger," scheduled for a September release, and she is shooting the Film Department comedy "Earthbound," starring Kate Hudson and Gael Garcia Bernal.