EXCLUSIVE: Kal Penn has booked a lead role in The Girl In The Photographs, a horror pic from exec producer Wes Craven. The project is the first from Al-Ghanim Entertainment, the Kuwaiti-backed film financing and production company that launched in January. Craven protégé Nick Simon is directing from a script he co-wrote with Oz Perkins and Robert Morast.

The film centers on Colleen, a bored small-town girl trying to distance herself from an abusive boyfriend. Then two serial killers begin leaving her photo at the scene of their brutal crimes. Penn play Peter Hemmings, a hipster celebrity photographer who has traveled back to his South Dakota hometown with a pack of models, intent on copying the killers’ intense and unapologetic artistry and use it for an important ad campaign. He resolves to use Colleen as the centerpiece of his campaign in Los Angeles.

Production has begun in Canada. Veteran cinematographer Dean Cundey, who was DP on the original Halloween trilogy, is making a return to the horror game with Girl In The Photographs. CAA is selling North American rights to the pic.

Harold & Kumar alum Penn co-stars on CBS’ Battle Creek and next appears in the feature Stereotypically You. He is repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment.