I always get a tad excited when it comes time for a Disney kid to leave the nest. Over the years, we've watched some Disney kids grow up to have tremendous careers (Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell). Then there are those who, well, are about one nut away from the loony bin (Britney Spears). Now a new crop of the Mouse crew are growing up and getting ready to branch out into various big-screen areas. We're talking kids like Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale and, of course, Vanessa "Take My Picture" Hudgens. Recently, the drama hit Hudgens a few years early when nude photos of the gal were leaked online, prompting everyone to wonder whether Disney would cut ties with her prior to completing their High School Musical franchise. So far they haven't done that, and Hudgens is currently expected to appear in High School Musical 3, but other offers are starting to trickle in and she's jumping on them.

The Hollywood Reporter tells us Hudgens has signed on to co-star in a new coming-of-age dramedy called Will. Calm down there boys, she's not going hardcore just yet; it seems the gal will remain in the friendly teen world for now. The film tells of a "high school outcast and a popular girl who form an unlikely bond through their shared love of music. They assemble a like-minded crew of misfits and form a rock group to perform in a battle of the bands competition at their school." HR says Hudgens will play "Sam, a 15-year-old former stutterer now speaking slowly and deliberately, who becomes romantically entangled with the lead outcast." So it sounds like she's playing the popular girl, though they emphasize this stuttering issue, so I don't know. The film was written by Todd Graff and Josh Cagan, with Graff (Camp) taking on directorial duties. Will is scheduled to begin shooting next month in Austin.