Thomas will helm Lowell-penned spec

Betty Thomas is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to helm “John Tucker Must Die.”

Spec script by TV writer-turned-feature scribe Jeff Lowell (“Romantic Comedy”) centers on the heartbreak endured by three girls from different high school cliques. When each is successively and unceremoniously dumped by the class heartthrob, they cross social lines to collaborate on the ruination of their hunky nemesis.

Deal also includes a first-look component for Thomas, who last year parted ways with longtime producing partner Jenno Topping and dissolved their formerly Sony-based Tall Trees production banner.

Thomas last helmed 2002′s “I, Spy” for Sony’s Columbia Pictures but also has a history with Fox, having helmed Eddie Murphy starrer “Dr. Dolittle” there in 1998.

Lowell recently sold his pitch “Fetch” to Sony-based Neal Moritz’s Original Film.

“Tucker” had previously been set up at MGM but is now on a fast track at Fox. Bob Cooper and Michael Birnbaum are producing the project, which is exec produced by Karen Lunder.

Fox exec VP of production Debbie Liebling is overseeing its development.

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