Mia Wasikowska, who plays the title character in Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland, is in final negotiations to star in Gus Van Sant's next project, the dark coming-of-age drama Restless.

The Australian actress had been contemplating a part in Robert Redford's post-Civil War drama The Conspirator before opting for the Van Sant picture, which is set up at Columbia. Both films are scheduled to begin shooting this fall.

A number of actresses had been in the mix for the lead role in Restless, which delves into the complex tale of a teenage boy and girl who share a preoccupation with mortality. Producers have not yet cast the male lead.

Bryce Dallas Howard is producing Restless with her father, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer. Rookie screenwriter Jason Lew, with whom the younger Howard went to film school, penned the screenplay, developing it from a play he wrote.

Wasikowska also co-stars in Fox Searchlight's Amelia Earhart biopic Amelia and had a role in Edward Zwick's World War II drama Defiance earlier this year. She came to prominence with her turn as the troubled teenager Sophie on the HBO psychotherapy drama In Treatment.