Amber Heard will star as a stalker student in Arclight Films’ thriller The Applicant, which the company is introducing to AFM buyers this week.

Eric Bross is set to direct and Hal Lieberman and J Todd Harris are producing for Arclight Films, which is also producing with Emerson Machtus. Production is set to begin early next year. Paradigm is representing the film’s North American rights.

Jeff Rothberg and Francis X McCarthy co-wrote the story about an underage prep school senior obsessed with admission to Yale who will stop at nothing to get her way, including seducing and ruining the life of an admissions director with connections to a top Yale professor.

“Intense competition for acceptance to schools at every level has become a worldwide phenomenon, and the time is ripe for a thriller in this setting,” Harris said.

Heard will be seen in horror remake And Soon The Darkness, which Anchor Bay Films will release in December. Her upcoming films include Drive Angry opposite Nicolas Cage and The Rum Diary with Johnny Depp. Previous credits include Pineapple Express, Zombieland and The Stepfather.

“Amber and I have been looking for a project for a while,” Bross, whose credits include Vacancy 2, said. “I’m ecstatic to have a rising star of Amber’s calibre on board. She’s perfect for the role.”

“Eric is the ideal director for a tightly-wound thriller like The Applicant,” Lieberman said. “His sense of timing and tension is impeccable.”

Lieberman’s credits include Terminator 3, The Bridge To Terabithia, Vacancy, Vacancy 2, U-571 and The Jackal.  The former president of production at Universal Pictures recently wrapped House At The End Of The Street.

Harris’ credits include Bottle Shock and most recently Miss Nobody and The Family Tree. He served as executive producer on Piranha 3D and The Kids Are All Right. Matchus is best known for producing Gospel Hill and the documentary From River To Sea.

Arclight Films is currently producing The Courier starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Mickey Rourke in Louisiana, is in pre-production on the Jan Da Bont project Mulan shooting in China. The Stephan Elliot comedy A Few Best Men is shooting in Australia.

Heard’s deal was made by CAA and attorney Karl Austen, who also represents Bross. Paradigm’s Mark Ross and manager Matt Luber also represented Bross. The screenplay was represented by Paradigm.