EXCLUSIVE: Assassination Nation and Famous In Love star Bella Thorne is set to star in writer-director Joshua Caldwell’s (Layover) crime feature Southland, about two young lovers who rob their way across the southland, posting their exploits to social media, and gaining fame and followers as a result.

Colin Bates (Maggie) and Michael Jefferson (Keys To The City) of Lucidity Entertainment are producing alongside Thor Bradwell (Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy) and Scott Levenson (King Cobra). Garrett Clayton, Katie Leary, Bennett Litwin and Adam Litwin will serve as executive producers. Highland Film Group will handle world sales, which commence in Berlin this week. Additional casting is underway.

The story follows Arielle (Thorne) who works in a diner in a small Florida town. When she falls for a recently paroled young criminal she drags him back into a life of danger, learning that posting their criminal exploits on social media is an easy way to viral fame. Obsessed with their rising number of followers, they embark on a dangerous adventure together that leads to robbery, cop chases and murder. Lensing is due to begin this spring.

Caldwell made his feature directorial debut with French-language film Layover in 2014. The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival. He then directed the first season of Hulu series South Beach and Be Somebody for Paramount Pictures. Most recently, he made spy thriller movie Negative.

Highland’s slate includes Bruce Willis action movie Trauma Center and Al Pacino drama Axis Sally, both of which are Emmett/Furla films.

Thorne is represented by CAA and Thirty Three Management and Caldwell is represented by CAA and Coronel Group.