Australian pop princess and former Neighbours star Delta Goodrem has made a move into movies by accepting the title role of Hating Alison Ashley, which goes into production in the first half of this year in Melbourne.

"I have been offered quite a few roles over the past two years and whilst the timing for this movie is not ideal, I really felt a strong desire to accept the part of Alison Ashley because I adore the book," Goodrem said in a statement released today.

Her reference to the timing is about the treatment she has been having since being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in mid-2003. The outpouring of public sympathy she has been receiving lessened a little when she was implicated in the disappointing performance in the Australian Open in January of Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis, with whom she is romantically linked.

"The movie will be shot over a six-week period and as I am well on the road to recovery this will be a great way to ease myself back into work after such a long time away. Who knows, perhaps Alison will inspire a song for the future as well. I am really looking forward to further expanding my experiences and moving into the unknown world of movies."

Hating Alison Alison, based on Robin Klein's novel for young adults, is a comedy is about the trials and tribulations of being a teenager, peer rivalry and discovering the value of true friendship. It is produced by John Brousek (The Wog Boy) and Elizabeth Howatt-Jackman, and is written by Christine Madafferi. Negotiations with a director continue.

"As the financier behind the project the FFC is very happy that the producers have secured one of Australia's most popular music talents to be in the film," said Film Finance Corporation Australian chief executive Brian Rosen. "This undoubtedly increases the chance of the film finding a wide audience and is also an interesting cross-pollination between the film and music industries."

Universal has the rights to the teen comedy for Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Hoyts Distribution will release the film in Australia. The Movie Network has local pay television rights and the other investors include Film Victoria, The Australian Children's Television Foundation and the NSW Film and Television Office.