We've already had The Wackness, which dealt with NYC and drug-dealing, but while that had some scary lip-on-lip action, it didn't have a murder twist -- not like this new drug drama. Variety reports that Joel Schumacher is directing Jordan Melamed's adaptation of Nick McDonell's novel Twelve. It's a book that's been compared to both Less Than Zero and Kids, and there's a pretty eclectic cast attached: Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, 50 Cent, Ellen Barkin, and Kiefer Sutherland.

Written in 2002 by a then-17-year-old McDonell, the book follows a high school dropout and drug dealer whose life derails when his cousin is murdered on an East Harlem playground and his best friend is arrested for the crime. So we've got a gritty tale of drugs and affluence, murder, dysfunction, and it'll star a pretty boy from Gossip Girl, the girl who keeps a hotel for dogs, and her Lymelife co-star ... plus a rap star, a woman who started her career with Up in Smoke, and Mr. 24.

I imagine this will be the sort of project that pulls Crawford and Roberts firmly into a different cinematic world, or gently pushes them back to lighter fare. But what's more interesting is what Schumacher will do with this material. He's certainly not the first name that would pop up for this sort of project, but re-teaming with Flatliners and The Lost Boys Sutherland might just be the reinvigoration Schumacher needs. Maybe?

The film hits production soon and is slated for a winter 2010 release.