'Valley Girl' redux set

Jason Moore signs on to direct

"Shrek: The Musical" director Jason Moore has signed to helm MGM's re-imagining of "Valley Girl" as a musical feature. Amy Talkington's updated screenplay spurred studio head Mary Parent and the first-time filmmaker to move on it quickly.

Idealogy's Sean Bailey and Matt Smith, who are producing, pitched MGM last summer on their fresh approach to revamping the 1983 cult comedy, which starred Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman in a romance that bridged the '80s punk scene and suburban San Fernando Valley culture. MGM exec Becky Sloviter is shepherding the project for the studio.

"Valley Girl" has been recast as a "Romeo and Juliet"-inspired musical built around the movie's new wave soundtrack (think Modern English, Sparks and the Psychedelic Furs). Martha Coolidge directed the original script written and produced by Wayne Crawford and Andrew Lane.

The '80s archeology is part of MGM's strategy to repackage classic catalog titles for new audiences in novel ways. The first product of this effort, "Fame," dances into theaters Sept. 25. "Red Dawn," "RoboCop," "Poltergeist" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" are in development there.

The UTA-repped Moore has directed episodes of "One Tree Hill," "Everwood" and "Brothers & Sisters." He directed the $24 million Broadway production of "Shrek: The Musical," which is nominated for eight Tony Awards including best musical and was nominated for the 2009 Drama Desk Award for outstanding musical.

He also has directed "Steel Magnolias" and "Avenue Q" on Broadway. "Valley Girl" will be his feature debut.

Talkington, who is repped by UTA and the Arlook Group, was a music writer before becoming a filmmaker. She wrote and directed the indie comedy "The Night of the White Pants" and adapted "The Devil in the Junior League" for Fox 2000.