Mandate Pictures announced today that Julianne Hough (Footloose) and Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek) will star in the Untitled Diablo Cody Project. Academy Award winner Diablo Cody will make her feature directorial debut from her original screenplay. Mason Novick ((500) Days of Summer) will produce. Mandate president Nathan Kahane (50/50) will executive produce alongside Diablo Cody. Nicole Brown, EVP of Production, is overseeing the project on behalf of Mandate Pictures. The project is on a fast track for a spring production start. Lionsgate is handling international sales and will present the film as part of their upcoming American Film Market slate.

The comedy follows a sheltered young woman (Hough) who loses her faith after a plane crash and decides to go to Las Vegas to experience the wild side of life. On her journey, she meets an unlikely companion (Brand) who inadvertently helps her find her true self.

Julianne Hough is represented by CAA and Azoff, Geary, Paul, Smith Management. Russell Brand is represented by WME and manager Nik Linnen. Diablo Cody is also represented by WME and attorney Jeff Frankel of McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP. Dan Freedman, SVP of Business & Legal Affairs, and Allison Strina, VP of Business & Legal Affairs, negotiated the deals for Mandate.

The Untitled Diablo Cody Project marks the third collaboration with Cody, Novick and Mandate after their successful partnerships on Juno and Young Adult, which will be released by Paramount Pictures this December. Juno, directed by Jason Reitman and written by Cody, garnered a host of accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Diablo Cody) and three Academy Award nominations for Best Motion Picture (Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers), Best Actress, and Best Director. The $227 million box-office and critical sensation was released by Fox Searchlight in late 2007.