Octavia Spencer has had the breakout year of a lifetime, earning glowing critical acclaim for her work in The Help, but now it looks like her 2012 could bring some stiff competition. Mandate Pictures announced via release on Monday that Spencer has joined the cast of Oscar-winning Juno scribe Diablo Cody's directorial debut. Tentatively titled, Lamb of God, the film is based on Cody's original screenplay, and will also star Russell Brand and Julianne Hough.

Say what you want, but we're not ready to tag the Footloose ingenue as a "star." The comedy follows Hough's character, a formerly sanctified phillie who loses her faith after surviving a devastating place crash and decides to bring the sin to Sin City. On the way there she meets Brand and Spencer's characters, and they inadvertently help her discover her "true self." Mandate president Nathan Kahane (50/50) will act as executive producer alongside Cody, with Mason Novick (500 Days of Summer) set to produce.

With the success of The Help in 2011's rearview mirror—are we witnessing a new trend brewing in Hollywood? Do you think that Diablo Cody will continue to be an unfair punchline for hacky and gimmicky writing? Speak your piece in the comments section below!

[via Variety]