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Creating the Sweet Valley High Cast of My Dreams

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SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't read Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later (I obviously have because I have no life) then don't continue unless you want some key plot twists revealed. Then again, you probably don't care about what happened "ten years later," and will never get around to this modern classic, so feel free to proceed.

We've all probably heard that Diablo Cody is set to pen the film version of the iconic book series centered around the lives of the two identical, gleaming California blondes. There's a holdup though -- word on the street is that no director is attached to the project yet, which means the cast list hasn't been set.

Because there is clear evidence to indicate that this movie could be a train-wreck (look no further than the abysmal Sweet Valley TV show) I feel compelled to not only cast this movie, but also to set a few standards for the wardrobe. I'm not quite sure if this version will be modernized to include current fashions, but I'm also not sure if I can stomach an entire film featuring puffy-sleeved blouses and mom jeans, so I'm taking this opportunity to style my dream Sweet Valley High cast as well.

This list includes a healthy mix of Disney darlings, recording artists (the movie will reportedly be a musical) and pretty bodies from The CW -- but they all have one thing in common: They're better than that totally wooden and awkward guy who played Todd Wilkins 1.0.

Cara Walker should be played by Selena Gomez.

Cara was mainly known for being a pretty brunette (because at some point Francine Pascal and her team of ghostwriters sat up and realized, "Hey, not all cute girls have blonde hair"). She liked gossip, cheerleading and Steven Wakefield. She eventually developed an affinity for baking and entered an ill-fated marriage with said Steven Wakefield. Luckily -- like everyone else in the magical town of Sweet Valley (except for poor Lois Waller) -- she could shove pie in her face all day long and "never gain an ounce."

She should wear:

Crop tops and high-waisted cutoffs, for sure. Cara Walker was a hottie with a body and wasn't afraid to show it. Stock up on Free People garb for this one. Give her a little boho edge -- Sweet Valley could use a bit of a shakeup.

Bruce Patman should be played by Ed Westwick.

He has to be mean, rich, entitled and irresistible. Patman was, after all, the one guy who could knock Jessica Wakefield down a few pegs. He was without redeemable qualities until he fell in true love (ten years later), not unlike a certain other character Westwick played...

He should wear:

Bruce always seemed like a total East Coast prepster trapped in a world of perpetual tans and board shorts to me. He'd wear knit ties even in 80 degree weather, three piece Zegna suits and monogrammed everything. Very Gossip Girl, which is fitting because he should totally be played by the guy who gave GG its compulsive watchability.

Amy Sutton should be played by Natalie Hall.

The popular blonde was described as a tall girl with no real mind of her own. I think Natalie Hall, best known for playing Hanna's awful stepsister, Kate, on Pretty Little Liars would be perfect.

She should wear:

Whether she was latching onto Elizabeth during elementary and middle school, or to Jessica and Lila during high school, Amy Sutton was a capital "F" follower. She'd be all about the micro-trends. I envision a scene featuring her trotting around in wedge sneakers while Jessica snottily informs her that anyone who wears "snedges" can't sit with her. She carries a Celine Luggage bag that Lila probably gave to her after using it for a month, before deeming it "too common for a Fowler."

Olivia Davidson should be played by Lorde.

Okay, so maybe she isn't an actress, but Lorde is exactly what I picture when I try to visualize the quirky girl who met her demise under the Wakefield's fridge during The Earthquake. The wild, unruly hair, the slightly awkward mannerisms, the total disregard for all things mainstream -- I mean, this is perfect casting.

She should wear:

Vintage, ethereal maxi dresses that trail the immaculate floors of SVHS and handmade crochet vests. Maybe one of those shrugs with the massive shoulder pads that are huge with the over 70 set. Olivia would have probably been lauded as a fashion icon had she made it past the age of 18.

Ken Matthews should be played by Kellan Lutz.

Lutz's look is pure, all-American alpha male, which is exactly what casting for the role of athletic-but-dim Ken Matthews calls for. Blonde hair, blue eyes and muscles for days. Basically he's playing the role he played in Twilight, minus the whole undead thing.

He should wear:

A letterman jacket. Good thing they're everywhere right now.

Winston Egbert should be played by Andrew Garfield.

The class clown and nerd grew up to be an uber successful womanizer. He needs to be played by someone who gives off that underdog vibe, but can still get audiences laughing. Like Garfield's character in The Social Network, Winston went on to create a dot-com moneymaker.

He should wear:

Sweater vests and neatly pressed khakis (we're talking crease down each leg.) He probably wore suspenders and bow ties even before they became sort of nerdy chic.

Ned Wakefield should be played by Patrick Dempsey.

He's a lawyer, he's athletic and he looks ridiculously young. Ned Wakefield is a Sweet Valley resident, so he's improbably impressive. You know who else is impressive? McDreamy.

He wears:

I don't know. Whatever dads wear.

Alice Wakefield should be played by Megan Hilty.

This is a musical, and Hilty has an insane set of pipes. She would be a great pick for the twins' mom, who is always mistaken for their sister.

She should wear:

A pale pink tweed Chanel suit? Maybe? Just one?

Steven Wakefield should be played by James Lafferty.

He's the all-American jock brother to the perfect set of blonde twins. These are big shoes to fill, so it's a good thing Lafferty did a great job playing a certain other all-American jock.

He should wear:

Colored Bonobos pants and shawl-collar sweaters (even in Southern California, it could work.) According to stereotypes, he's a lot more stylish than his peers. If you've read the Sweet Valley Confidential book, you know why.

Enid Rollins should be played by Demi Lovato.

Enid has a checkered past, one that includes -- gasp -- drugs! Demi's husky voice and emotional delivery while singing would shed light on this. She'd have to be more Mitchie from Camp Rock and less Dani from Glee, though.

She should wear:

Prepster duds from J. Crew, although we would probably see her eyeing a really edgy pair of Alexander Wang leather pants during a mall scene with Liz. She runs away from them, though, for fear that even trying them on may take her back to her wilder days.

Lila Fowler should be played by Nina Dobrev.

Lila seems to have few redeeming qualities, but for some reason I never hated the character. Nina Dobrev is a seriously gorgeous brunette who can play the aloof card. Dobrev also has a really delicate, vulnerable look, which could make audiences root for the poor little rich girl even when she doesn't seem deserving.

She should wear:

Now, I know everyone thinks Lila Fowler is basically Blair Waldorf with a tan, but I say Li has a little bit more sartorial attitude. I see her in brightly colored duds from Proenza Schouler (god knows she can afford them) and fabulous glittery Miu Miu pumps. If there's a dance (and it's Sweet Valley, there's always a dance) she's in Herve Leger. She doesn't know this yet, but she's getting a Birkin bag for her 18th birthday.

Sam Woodruff should be played by Matt Lanter.

Sam was a dirt bike enthusiast, so he has to have a little bit of a dangerous side -- we've all seen Lanter bare his on 90210. Sam dies tragically in the SVH series, and Lanter's 90210 alter ego almost died a few times....so it works.

He should wear:

A leather jacket. A really awesome, perfectly worn in, genuine leather jacket he got from his dad or something. It's so old, the tag has fallen off and he has no idea who made it. He wears this thing everywhere, even when accompanying a bikini-clad Jessica to the beach.

Todd Wilkins should be played by Zac Efron.

I mean, this is the guy who drove Jessica and Elizabeth apart -- he's got to be downright magnetic. Efron is convincingly charismatic enough. The real question is: Would he sign on for another (High School) musical?

He should wear:

Classic Levis and plaid shirts. Snooze.

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield should be played by Sara Paxton.

This is where it gets tricky because the twins have to be identical, so they probably need to be played by the same person. The thing is, even though they're described as "mirror images" and even though they're both described as "perfectly lovely California blondes with stunning size 6 figures, blue-green eyes and matching dimples," I've always thought the twins had different kinds of beauty. Sara Paxton can play to Jessica's manipulative side (she played the mean girl in Sydney White). She can also do innocence a la Elizabeth (see her work in all two episodes of TBL: The Beautiful Life. Or all six if you watched the unaired eps that went on YouTube. I totally did.) She has -- and I really hate saying this but there's no better way of putting it -- a twinkle in her eye, which is exactly what whoever lands this role needs. She's really, really pretty. And apparently she can even sing! (Diana Agron was an extremely close second for this.)

Elizabeth should wear:

Jeans (and not the skinny kind) and sensible, well-fitting t-shirts. And by well-fitting, I mean tight enough for everyone to see how hot she is, but loose enough to make it seem like she wasn't going for that (can you tell I'm team Jessica?) She wears flats that look sort of like the ones Tory Burch makes, but cost way less. She carries her books in an actual backpack, probably from whatever has become the new L.L. Bean. She once bought a killer backless black Theory dress for one of SVH's weekly dances. She felt guilty and returned it the next day. She borrowed a frilly pink BCBG number from Jessica's closet instead.

Jessica should wear:

Trendy duds from the likes of Forever 21 and H&M -- though Jess knows how to make these look original, even slightly expensive. She scours Nordstrom obsessively for sales and her trusty Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag is her most prized possession. She drools over Lila's collection of Louboutins but can usually be found teetering around the halls of school in Dolce Vita wedges.

And, as for the music, this movie will not be complete without an ensemble version of Katy Perry's "California Girls."