Salma Hayek is in advanced talks to star in Raoul Ruiz's forthcoming adaptation of Salman Rushdie's novel, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Production is through Paulo Branco's Gemini Films, with additional financing for the $18.5m film coming from StudioCanal and UK National Lottery franchise Pathe Pictures. Shooting is expected to begin in April.

The story, adapted by Rushdie himself, follows a woman who, against the odds, survives the 1989 Mexican earthquake and is subsequently idolised around the world. Naveen Andrews and Sendhil Ramamurthy co-star.

Ruiz, whose last film Savage Souls (Les Ames Fortes) closed Cannes, has hired leading cinematographer Eduardo Serra and multi-Oscar nominee Norman Garwood as art director.