United Artists books 'Heartbreakers'

Jennifer Ross to write film based on young-adult novel

NEW YORK -- United Artists has acquired rights to and will develop "The Heartbreakers," a girl-oriented project based on a popular young-adult novel, and will give it the new name of "Rules of Dating for Teenage Girls."

Jennifer Ross is in negotiations to write the script, with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas attached to produce and Adelaide Scardino overseeing for the studio.

"Rules of Dating" is based on a book by journalist-turned-novelist Pamela Wells, who published her debut novel "The Heartbreakers" in fall 2007. She followed that up a year later with a second novel, "Crushes," that focused on many of the same characters.

"Rules of Dating" centers on four best friends and their on-again, off-again dalliances with boys. After several of the girls are dumped, they devise a set of rules they are sure will snag any man and prevent future breakups.

Those familiar with the project described it as a coming-of-age comedy with a girl-power streak.

Ross, repped by Endeavor and Tom Sawyer Entertainment, is a postproduction veteran with credits on HBO's "Sex and the City" and "Big Love," among others.

UA has a number of youth-oriented projects in development, including a remake of "Teen Witch," the 1989 supernatural comedy starring Robyn Lively.

Projects aimed at tween and young teen girls are in vogue in the wake of the massive success of properties like "Twilight" and the success this past weekend of "Hannah Montana: The Movie." Bookseller stats, for instance, show overlap between "Twilight" and "Heartbreakers" consumers.