Lionsgate has acquired worldwide rights to the screen adaptation of bestseller "What to Expect When You're Expecting" from Phoenix Pictures.
Heather Hach ("Freaky Friday," "Legally Blonde: The Musical"), who is nine months pregnant, will adapt Heidi Murkoff's pregnancy advice book for the big screen.
Phoenix's David Thwaites, who gave Hach the book, will produce with the company's Mike Medavoy and Arnie Messer; Phoenix's Doug McKay will co-produce.
It's the first project to come out of a recent alliance formed by Phoenix, Renaissance Management (whose Alan Nevins, Murkoff's literary representative, brokered the deal with Phoenix) and Jackson-Medavoy Entertainment.
The deal was jointly announced Thursday by Joe Drake, Lionsgate co-COO and motion picture group president, and Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate president of motion picture production.
Read by 93% of expectant mothers and considered the pregnancy bible, "What to Expect..." has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. It has been translated into more than 40 languages.
“‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ is a brand that knows no boundaries, and millions of readers can attest to the warmth, wisdom and humor of its voice,” Shearmur said. “We’re excited about this film as the first in a potential franchise with our friends at Phoenix Pictures, and working with Heather Hach positions us for a great start.”