EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Strike Entertainment have acquired the Jay Asher novel 13 Reasons Why as a star vehicle for Selena Gomez. Strike’s Eric Newman and Marc Abraham are producing with Mandy Teefey of July Moon Productions.
Jennifer O’Kieffe has been set to adapt the novel, about a shy California high school student who returns from school to find a box waiting on his doorstep. It contains seven cassette tapes recorded by Hanna Baker, the classmate he had a crush on. Before she committed suicide, Hannah sent the tapes to one classmate with instructions to pass them on to a list of students like a chain letter. The tapes explain to 13 people how they played a role in her death. The book was a bestseller when published in 2007 by the Penguin Books young adult imprint RazorBill. Strike’s Kristel Laiblin is exec producer.
Gomez, who stars in the Disney Channel series The Wizards of Waverly Place, starred in the Tom Bezucha-directed Monte Carlo. She’s repped by CAA.