Thesps to star in Fox 2000 comedy

Landing his first starring role in a major studio feature, Michael Vartan has been tapped to co-star opposite Drew Barrymore in Fox 2000’s “Never Been Kissed.”

Vartan, an ascending actor who has been featured in a number of indie films including the upcoming “Dead Man’s Curve,” will play a high school teacher who falls in love with Barrymore’s character.

The comedy, helmed by Raja Gosnell and written by recent USC film school grads Abby Kohen and Marc Silverstein for the Laura Ziskin-led arm of 20th Century Fox, begins lensing in Los Angeles later this month.

The film, which also marks Barrymore’s bow as a producer, is about a copy editor in her early 20s who gets her chance to become a reporter at a Chicago daily newspaper. She goes undercover as a student to get a news scoop on what cool high schoolers are doing.

Vartan just wrapped writer-director Steven Feder’s indie feature “It Had to Be You,” in which he starred with “Species” topliner Natasha Henstridge. It’s produced by Feder and Neil Kaplan for the duo’s Black Sheep Entertainment.

Vartan’s “Kissed” pact was shepherded by ICM’s Tracy Brennan and Chris Andrews with manager Stephen Hanks.

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