Lionsgate has acquired from Phoenix Pictures worldwide rights to the screen adaptation of the bestselling pregnancy bible What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff.
Heather Hach, whose credits include Freaky Friday and Legally Blonde: The Musical, will write the adapted screenplay based on her pitch.
Phoenix’s David Thwaites brought the book to Hach and will produce alongside the company’s Mike Medavoy and Arnie Messer.
Lionsgate is eyeing as a potential franchise and president of motion picture production Alli Shearmur will oversee the project for the studio with senior vice-president of motion picture production Wolfgang Hammer.
The project marks the first in the new alliance formed between Phoenix, Renaissance and Jackson-Medavoy Entertainment.
“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.
Lionsgate executive vice president, business and legal affairs Robert Melnik and Hammer brokered the deal for the studio with WME’s Cliff Roberts and Adriana Alberghetti, Alex Goldstone at Anonymous Content, and attorney Warren Dern of Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, on behalf of Hach.
Phoenix Pictures executive vice-president of business affairs Rochel Blachman Messer negotiated for Phoenix Pictures.
Phoenix is currently in production on Black Swan, which Darren Aronofsky is directing for Fox Searchlight. The company’s slate of upcoming releases includes Shutter Island with Paramount and Shanghai with TWC.