Vanessa Hudgens Dead @ 17, Mike Dougherty Scripting Her Demise And Resurrection

I reckon there was some credibility to the claims that Vanessa Hudgens auditioned for New Moon and I fear she only received the knockback when a disclaimer about her casting went public, the poor thing. All's well that end's well, however, and it seems like she's now on the list for something a whole lot more interesting.

Rich Johnston at Lying in the Gutters linked to a Comics on Comics interview with Josh Howard, creator of the Dead @ 17 comics. In the interview, Howard mentioned that Lorenzo di Bonaventura was producing a cinema adaptation of his series and that Vanessa Hudgens was being pursued to star. Better still, he also spilled that Mike Dougherty is writing the screenplay.

Aside from Lex Luthor's truly underwhelming "evil plot" (I know Lex has a thing about real estate, but come on) I think Superman Returns, which Dougherty co-wrote with Dan Harris, was really very good indeed and their previous collaboration with Bryan Singer on X2 is amongst the greatest films of the superhero genre. Dougherty's last project was the much hyped but seldom seen Trick'r Treat, a cruel victim of Warner Bros. seemingly indecipherable distribution illogic. Seeing as he graduated to director there with an impressively increased reputation, I wouldn't be surprised to see him taking the reigns on Dead @ 17 as well.

The comic's premise sounds eminently franchisable: It's Buffy meets Nikita as as 17 year old Nara Kilday (er... interesting name) is killed, resurrected and set to the task of slaughtering evil monsters and the like. I haven't read a single panel of the thing so maybe I'm missing the new idea.

Nara has a friend called Hazy Foss, by the way. Where did Howard get these names from?

Judging Ms. Hudgens' acting abilities on the strength of the projects she's been shackled too so far would be cruel. It isn't her fault that all she's been shoveled little more than lowest common denominator dreck and films that have been less artistic endeavour than money laundering exercise. If she continues in this vein now that she's being hunted for stuff at least one rung up the ladder, then I'll change my idea of who is to blame.

Here's a Dead@17 fan film from the great mixing bowl that is YouTube. Remember: I didn't make it, I'm just embedding it.