Heigl speaks 'Truth' for Luketic


Katherine Heigl is ready for "The Ugly Truth."

The Emmy-winning "Grey's Anatomy" star is on board to topline the romantic comedy directed by Robert Luketic for Lakeshore Entertainment. Columbia Pictures has acquired the worldwide distribution rights.

The story centers on a news producer (Heigl) who is forced to hire an obnoxious self-proclaimed relationship expert for her show. His theories end up helping her get the guy of her dreams.

The project had been in development for several years but was rewritten by screenwriting team Karen McCullah Lutz and Kristen Smith. Their draft attracted Luketic, who worked with the scribes on "Legally Blonde."

" 'The Ugly Truth' is one of the funniest scripts I have read in a long time," Luketic said. "It's an honest and, at times, ribald exploration of men, women and the complicated relationships they weave."

An April 15 start date is being planned.

Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi, along with Steve Reuther, are producing.

Columbia execs Andrea Giannetti and DeVon Franklin are overseeing for the studio.

Luketic, repped by CAA and Mosaic, most recently directed the comedy "Monster-in-Law," starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez.

Lutz and Smith, repped by Paradigm and Jaret Entertainment, also wrote "10 Things I Hate About You" and "She's the Man."

Heigl ("Knocked Up") will next be seen in "27 Dresses." She is repped by Paradigm, her mother manager Nancy Heigl and attorney Stephen Barnes.

Borys Kit reported from Los Angeles; Gregg Goldstein reported from New York.