Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Holly Hunter has been set by Mandate Pictures to star in the untitled comedy that will mark the directing debut of Young Adult and Juno scribe Diablo Cody. Hunter joins Julianne Hough, Russell Brand and The Help‘s Octavia Spencer. The comedy follows a sheltered young woman (Hough) who loses her faith after a plane crash and heads to Vegas to experience the wild side of life. Hunter will play her conservative and overprotective mother. Mason Novick is producing and Mandate president Nathan Kahane is exec producing with Cody. Production starts next spring with Lionsgate handling international sales.

Since ending her run on the TNT series Saving Grace, Hunter has wrapped the Walden Media drama Won’t Back Down, and she just finished playing the title character in the Antoinette Beumer-directed indie Jackie. She’ll reunite with The Piano helmer Jane Campion next year on the BBC/Sundance Channel miniseries Top Of The Lake. Hunter’s repped by ICM and Management 360.