Panettiere gets passport for 'Nation'


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BERLIN -- "Heroes" star Hayden Panettiere has signed on to topline "Daydream Nation," a teenage comedy from writer Michael Goldbach, who is making his directorial debut. Kieran Culkin is in negotiations to star as well.

Michael Besman ("About Schmidt") will produce along with Cameron Lamb of Lila 9th Prods.

The producers are hoping to reinvent the coming-of-age story for the 21st century, calling the film an intellectual comedy a la "Juno" and "Election."

Panettiere will play an acerbic teen, and Culkin ("Igby Goes Down") will be her oblivious boyfriend.

The Collective's Shaun Redick is negotiating financing for the picture and will executive produce. Sam Maydew ("The Education of Charlie Banks") will produce on behalf of the Collective.

Lesley Vogel and Panettiere's manager, Emily Gerson Saines of Brookside Artist Management, also will serve as producers.

The Collective will represent North American distribution rights, and Odyssey Entertainment will handle foreign sales.

Producers hope to start shooting in the second or third quarter of the year, subject to any work strikes and Panettiere's schedule on her NBC series.

Goldbach, repped by WMA and the Collective, co-wrote with Don McKellar the 2004 Canadian production "Childstar."

Panettiere and Culkin are repped by WMA and Brookside Artist Management.