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Miley Cyrus to star in next Nicholas Sparks film

Disney is working on an untitled movie project that will star the teen celebrity sensation Miley Cyrus. The film is a love story, set in small town in eastern North Carolina, and is being tailor-made for the "Hannah Montana" star by author Nicholas Sparks. Miley's mother, Tish Cyrus, will be the executive producer.

Sparks plans to finish the screenplay before the end of the year and principal photography for the movie is planned for the first part of 2009.

Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, will publish the book in September of 2009.

The film will follow later that same year, which is considered a short window between book and movie release dates.

The project came about after Disney exec Jason Reed met with the actress, who is slowly broadening her image and transitioning to adult fare. She mentioned "A Walk to Remember" as an example of what she hoped for. Disney was looking for a new film project for Miley Cyrus, and she was looking for a film to play a more dramatic role in.

Sparks and director/producer Adam Shankman are reunited for this project. Shankman directed "A Walk to Remember."

Jennifer Gibgot, who partnered with Shankman in the Disney-based Offspring Entertainment production company, got the project off the ground.

Cyrus is starring as the voice of "Penny" in Disney/Pixar's animated movie "Bolt" that will be in theaters in November. In the spring of 2009, "The Hannah Montana Movie will be released". Her album, "Breakout" debuted at No. 1 this summer on the charts. She will also be co-starring with Raven-Symoné in the upcoming Disney film "Further Adventures in Babysitting".

Notable Nicholas Sparks novels that were made info movies include "The Notebook", "A Walk to Remember", "Nights in Rodanthe", and " Message in a Bottle".