Jean Marc Vallee will direct from a script by Julian Fellowes. Graham King and Martin Scorsese are producing. Denis O'Sullivan will oversee the project for King's GK Films.
The Young Victoria will start shooting on location in the UK in August.
Friend recently appeared in The Libertine and Pride and Prejudice, and is current shooting The Boy In Striped Pyjamas for Miramax. He will also appear in The Last Legion with Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley and Virgin Territory with Hayden Christensen and Mischa Barton.
The Young Victoria follows Victoria's rise to power and her turbulent early years in the throne, along with her romance with Prince Albert.
Friend is repped by ICM London and Endeavor.