'Soph' hop for Barton with Willis


Mischa Barton and Rumer Willis have been cast opposite Bruce Willis, Rumer's father, in the dark comedy "The Sophomore" for Yari Film Group.

In the teenage take on "Chinatown," Barton will play the most popular girl in her Catholic high school. She persuades a sophomore reporter to investigate the theft of SAT exams, but after he reveals that the school's president and top jock are responsible, a more sinister conspiracy emerges.

Rumer Willis plays the troublemaking sidekick of Barton's character. Bruce Willis plays the school's twisted principal, a Desert Storm veteran who can't let go of his glory days in Kuwait.

Bob Yari is producing the feature with Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo Entertainment. Elsie Choi serves as co-producer. YFG production exec Brad Jenkel is overseeing the project, which was brought to the studio by YFG development exec Eric Umali. Vertigo co-produced "Addicted," starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, with YFG.

The film (previously titled "Assassination of a High School President") will be directed by Brett Simon and written by Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski, who all are making their feature film debuts. Principal photography is set to begin in August. Simon has helmed music videos for several bands, including Good Charlotte and the Killers.

Barton, best known for her role on "The O.C.," recently starred in Luke Kasdan's indie drama "Don't Fade Away" and is filming Roland Joffe's drama "Finding t.A.T.u" in Russia.

Rumer Willis made her screen debut at age 5 in "Now and Then," which starred her mother, Demi Moore.

She most recently appeared in the 2005 film "Hostage" with her father.

Barton is repped by CAA and Jack Heller at the Schiff Co. Rumer Willis is repped by Jennifer Merlino of Untitled Entertainment.

Carl DiOrio in Los Angeles contributed to this report.