Hayden Panettiere has been cast as American exchange student-turned-convicted killer Amanda Knox in an upcoming Lifetime Original Movie about the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, but news of the film has attorneys for the clean-cut Washington coed — nicknamed “Foxy Knoxy” by the European press — threatening suit to halt production.

Is Hayden headed back to unemployment line?

Last week, producers at the Lifetime Network announced that the out-of-work Heroes actress beat out a bevy of actress, including Megan Fox and Lindsay Lohan, to be cast in The Amanda Knox Story, a made-for-TV movie based on the exchange student’s Italian murder trial over the brutal killing of her roommate, Kercher, 21. Italian prosecutors say Knox held Kercher down while her throat was slit after the Brit refused to participate in a drug-fueled sex game with an inebriated Amanda, her boyfriend, and a male friend of the couple. After a lengthy trial, Knox was convicted in Oct. 2009. She is serving a 26-year sentence in an Italian prison.

Knox, however, has maintained her innocence and is challenging the guilty verdict- and her lawyers are adamant movie bosses should not be allowed to take her story to Hollywood until the outcome of the appeal is heard.

“It is inconceivable to make a film when a final verdict on this case has not been reached,” says Knox’s attorney Maria Del Grosso.

“If the film is shown before the end of the appeals trial we will request it be seized (by authorities),” adds Giulia Bongiorno, a lawyer representing Knox’s former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who was also convicted of Kercher’s murder.

Both appeals will be heard later this year.

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