United Artists has optionedthe rights to Anna Thomas Soffee's memoir Snake Hips and will develop the project with Hart SharpEntertainment.

Published in 2002, SnakeHips is a comic account of the30-year-old authoris life as a relationship ends and she moves back homewith her parents in Virginia, where she reconnects with her Lebanese roots anddiscovers belly dancing.

"Snake Hips is anoriginal story that appealed to us instantly," UA president Bingham Raysaid in a statement. "Sylvia has a real passion for the content of thisbook; it felt like a great match for a screenplay."

Hart Sharp principals JohnHart and Jeff Sharp and head of production Robert Kessel will produce, withNina Wolarsky as co-producer and Michael Hogan as executive producer. SylviaSichel, who wrote the 1997 drama All Over Me, will adapt the book.

"Snake Hips offers aunique world of charmingly offbeat characters and cultural insight, which isthe perfect match for Sylvia's brand of ironic humor," Hart Sharpsaid in a statement.

"Working once againwith the team at United Artists makes this a real pleasure," they added,echoing comments by Ray after the two companies collaborated on DouglasMcGrath's Nicholas Nickleby,which was released last year.

The deal was brokered by independentattorney George Sheanshang on behalf of Hart Sharp Entertainment, Danny Rosettand Mary Biebel of UA, Cynthia Sherry of Chicago Review Press, and WillBattersby of ICM on behalf of Sylvia Sichel.

Among UA's upcomingreleases are Victor Salva's Jeepers Creepers 2, Peter Hedges' Pieces of April with Katie Holmes and Patricia Clarkson and DavidGordon Green's The Undertow.

Hart Sharp's upcomingreleases include the Michael Cunningham adaptation A Home At The End Of TheWorld, starring Colin Farrell, RobinWright Penn and Sissy Spacek; and P.S. by Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger).