Adam Shankman to Direct Kate Beckinsale in 'The Chocolate Money'

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Kate Beckinsale

The film, based on the Ashley Prentice Norton novel, is being introduced to buyers in Berlin by Cornerstone Films.

The big-screen adaptation of Ashley Prentice Norton's hit 2012 novel, The Chocolate Money, set to star Kate Beckinsale, has found itself a director.

Adam Shankman (Hairspray, A Walk to Remember) has been brought on board to helm the feature, which Beckinsale also is producing. The film will tell the story of an impossibly rich chocolate heiress and her precocious young daughter.

Beckinsale will produce together with Mar-Key Pictures president Leslie Urdang, Miranda de Pencier and Kelly E. Ashton, with Emma Forrest having written the screenplay. Production is due to start in New York in the spring.

Set in the 1980s, The Chocolate Money follows Bettina Ballentyne, the beautiful and whip-smart daughter of millionaire chocolate heiress Babs Ballentyne. After a fling with her mother's married lover leads to catastrophic results, Bettina is shipped off to boarding school and offered the chance for a fresh start, only for her old flame's teenage son to join her circle of new friends.

"Emma Forrest wrote a profoundly witty and moving script with a role that could easily become Kate Beckinsale’s most brilliant and memorable," said Urdang. "Adam Shankman’s emotional accessibility and his gorgeous style will create a world we will not be able to resist."

Cornerstone Films is handling international sales and distribution and will commence sales at the European Film Market in February. UTA is overseeing U.S. sales.

Added Cornerstone's Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder: "Adam Shankman and Kate Beckinsale are perfectly matched to this funny, audacious and profoundly moving story about a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship that will resonate with buyers across the world looking for a female-driven movie with a big heart."