Dimiutive star Hayden Panettiere has landed the lead role in a Lifetime Made-for-TV movie about Amanda Knox, an American exchange student convicted in the stabbing death of her British-born roommate.

Knox, a promising student from Washington State, attracted international headlines after she, her former boyfriend, and a third man were tried and convicted of murdering British student Meredith Kercher, 21, during a sex game gone wrong in the girls’ Perguia, Italy apartment in 2007.

In December Knox — branded “Foxy Knoxy” by the media because of her Girl Next Door looks and allegedly blushworthy sex life — was sentenced to 26 years in an Italian prison for her alleged role in the crime. Knox maintains her innocence and has appeal her conviction, with the support of a host of American allies.

Hayden — who shot to fame playing cheerleader Claire Bennet on the now-defunct NBC supernatural series Heroes — beat out Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox, Emily Blunt, and Kristen Stewart for the role of Knox, Deadline.com said Monday.

The film — tentatively titled The Amanda Knox Story — will premiere on Lifetime in early 2011.

In the meantime, the convicted killer is to play a starring role in her prison show this Christmas. Knox, 23, has a “formidable soprano voice” according to the musical director at Perugia’s Capanne jail, where she is currently serving time for Kercher’s murder.



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