Vanessa Hudgens. Alive.

My initial reaction to the name Vanessa Hudgens is one of slight disgust, although that reaction is probably a bit unfair. The High School Musical franchise might not be one that I’d ever want to spend time watching (okay, definitely isn’t one I’d want to spend time watching), but that certainly doesn’t mean that the films aren’t worthwhile endeavors that serve more purposes than simply greasing the wheels of American capitalism.

Either way, franchise star Vanessa Hudgens wants to advance her career following the success of High School Musical 3, which was released this past October. While rumors abound that Ms. Hudgens was denied a role in the Twilight sequel New Moon, /Film is reporting in one of the worst-worded headlines of all time that Vanessa is being actively pursued to play the leading role in the cinematic adaptation of Josh Howard’s Dead @ 17 comic series, which will probably be a big hit with all of the Joss Whedon fans that have been appearing out of the woodwork lately.

In a recent interview, Howard mentioned that Lorenzo di Bonaventura will be producing the untitled project, and Mike Dougherty (X2, Superman Returns) is writing the screenplay. If she accepts the role, Hudgens will play the series’ 17-year-old protagonist, Nara Kilday.

Dead @ 17 follows Nara’s exploits after she is killed and then resurrected for the task of slaughtering evil monsters and other supernatural-like things.

Given Hudgens’ resume, it’s difficult to say whether balancing what seems to be a pretty marketable franchise opportunity on Hudgens’ shoulders will help it to succeed or fail. Regardless, I’m a little apprehensive about seeing a graphic novel that I have been looking forward to reading for some time now adapted for the big screen with Hudgens center stage. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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