Miley CyrusHannah Montana is going to college. Former Disney TV star Miley Cyrus has parlayed her success as a fictional teen pop star into a burgeoning film career, first striking gold with a big-screen version of her sitcom, 'Hannah Montana: The Movie,' and then taking the lead in this spring's romantic tearjerker 'The Last Song.' The former earned $155 million worldwide and the latter more than $89 million in total box office receipts. With a new album and a sexy starring turn in a yet to be released movie completed, Variety reports that she will next play a private investigator hired by the FBI to go undercover at a college sorority in the action-comedy 'So Undercover.'

The actress, who will turn 18 later this month, will be playing a "tough, street smart" character, according to Exclusive Media Group, the company that is financing the film. Cyrus has obviously demonstrated her flair for comedy, but it sounds like a big stretch to buy her as a "tough, street smart" detective. In his review of 'The Last Song,' our own John Gholson observed: "You don't have to be a chameleon-like actor to be a movie star, and Cyrus is definitely at her most appealing when she's playing a variation of her own personality, rather than posturing as the surly brat. She's not fooling anybody."
Then again, maybe that's the point. If she's to have any kind of film career, she needs to expand her range. This summer we heard that her sexy starring role in 'LOL (Laughing Out Loud)' will push her toward the dark side in a movie that Cinematical's Jenni Miller described as sounding "a bit like 'Thirteen' mixed with 'Showgirls.'"

After that, moving on to a role that plays to her strength in comedy may be her best move. And, unlike most movies set at colleges, which feature actors in their mid-to-late 20s (and beyond) trying to act younger, Cyrus will have no trouble passing as a student.

Tom Vaughan will direct. He has the smash hit comedy 'What Happens in Vegas' under his belt, as well as the medical drama misfire 'Extraordinary Measures.' Production on 'So Undercover' will begin next month; a US studio distribution deal is said to be in the offing.

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categories Movies, Cinematical