Lionsgate, Phoenix birthing 'Expecting' pic

Heather Hach will write adaptation of pregnancy guidebook

Lionsgate and Phoenix Pictures are teaming up to bring the nonfiction pregnancy guidebook series "What to Expect When You're Expecting" to the big screen.

Lionsgate has picked up the movie rights to the Heidi Murkoff books from Phoenix, which held the option. Heather Hach, who is nine months pregnant, will write the adaptation.

The first book was published in 1984 and has gone on to sell between 14 to 20 million copies, depending on the figures. It has been translated into 40 languages and has remained on the New York Times bestseller list (in the paperback advice category) for over 440 weeks. USA Today once claimed that 93% of expectant American moms had read the book.

The book has birthed spinoff titles ranging from "What to Expect: The First Year" to "What to Expect at Preschool" to "What to Expect Before You're Expecting."

Phoenix's David Thwaites, who brought the book to Hach, is producing with the company's Mike Medavoy and Arnie Messer. Phoenix's Doug McKay will co-produce.

Lionsgate's Alli Shearmur and Wolfgang Hammer will oversee.

Murkoff will exec produce with husband Erik Murkoff plus Murkoff's literary representative, Alan Nevins of Renaissance Management, who brokered the deal with Phoenix.

The big-screen adaptation of "Expecting" will follow the relationships of seven couples as they experience the thrills, terrors, surprises, aches and pains of preparing to embark on life's biggest journey, parenthood.

The multi-storyline approach is similar to the one used by the New Line romantic comedy "He's Just Not That Into You," the adaptation based on best-selling guidebook for dating in the modern world.

Hach, best known for writing 2003's "Freaky Friday," has experience in nonfiction adaptations having written a take on the lifestyle book "French Women Don't Get Fat." She is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.

Phoenix is currently in production on Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" and is behind Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," which open February 19.