With her good girl image about to get a bit of a tweak in the upcoming bikini romp "Spring Breakers," Selena Gomez will make a brief return early next year to the more innocent climes of "Wizards of Waverly Place."
The actress will star in and executive produce a still-untitled one-hour "Wizards" special set to premiere in early 2013 that will reunite her with co-stars Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera, Jake T. Austin, David DeLuise and Gregg Sulkin, according to an announcement from Disney. "I'm working on my new record and I had great projects I was a part of this year, but 'Wizards' and Disney Channel and everything that is a part of this is my home," Gomez told Radio Disney about the special. "I'm not ready for it to be over, so I just kind of want to do one more thing."
Gomez said it was her idea to come back for the special, which she is excited to executive produce. "I wanted to do it really badly," she said. "I want to make sure I promise the cast and the fans a really, really good hour-long event that they can enjoy and will leave them feeling good."
Production on the show will start in October, nine months after the January "Wizards" series finale set a high mark as one of the most-watched kids program on cable this year with 11.3 million total viewers.
"With the phenomenal ratings of the 'Wizards' finale earlier this year, it became clear that fans of the series were not ready to say goodbye to Selena or the rest of the 'Wizards' cast," Disney Channel's worldwide chief creative officer Gary Marsh said in a statement. "As such, we're thrilled that the cast has agreed to reunite to bring their fans one last grand adventure."
The story line will find the Russo family and friend traveling to Tuscany, Italy, to meet their long lost relatives. Along the way, when Gomez's Alex tries to prove she's not just a good-natured Wizard, she accidentally casts a spell that creates a Good Alex and an Evil Alex.
Good Alex is then forced to step in and save the world from Evil Alex's plot to take over the world, culminating in an epic battle between the two Alexes atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa. "Wizards" was one of the Disney Channel's most successful series ever, with three Emmy wins over the course of its nearly six-year run.
Gomez will shake up her image in next year's Harmony Korine-directed "Spring Breakers," which co-stars Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine.
"People will be a little shocked, I think. I'm a little nervous about it, but honestly, it's a right step for me, I'm really proud of it," Gomez said earlier this summer, adding, "I think as an actress it really challenged me. All of the other actresses are also trying to prove themselves, so it was just really, really fun."