Gomez stars in ‘Beezus and Ramona’

King to play younger sister in Fox 2000 film

Selena Gomez and Joey King have signed on to star in the kid-lit adaptation “Beezus and Ramona” for Fox 2000 and Walden Media.

Film is based on bestselling Ramona books by Beverly Cleary.

Gomez (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) will play Beezus, the brilliant yet insecure older sister to King’s (“The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”) Ramona, who has a vivid imagination.

King’s casting follows Fox 2000 Pictures’ nationwide search for Ramona, during which the production division saw hundreds of girls — with King finally nabbing the role after completing a screen test.

“Aquamarine” helmer Elizabeth Allen directs from a screenplay by Laurie Craig and Nick Pustay. Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan are producing. Di Novi has brought to the bigscreen such female-aimed projects as “Little Women,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Nights in Rodanthe.”

Twentieth Century Fox will release the film March 19, 2010.