Adam Shankman to Direct Kate Beckinsale’s ‘The Chocolate Money’

“Hairspray” and “Rock of Ages” director Adam Shankman has signed on to direct Kate Beckinsale in an adaptation of Ashley Prentice Norton’s novel “The Chocolate Money.”

The coming-of-age film, which Beckinsale will also produce, stars the actress as a rich chocolate heiress, Babs Ballentyne, and her relationship with precocious young daughter, Bettina.

Beckinsale is producing together with Mar-Key Pictures’ President Leslie Urdang, Miranda de Pencier and Kelly E. Ashton. Emma Forrest wrote the screenplay.

The film will go into production this spring in New York.

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

The story is set in 1980s New York, where young Bettina fantasizes about a normal family life despite her free-wheeling mother’s rock-star lifestyle.

She also develops a huge crush on Mack, her mother’s married lover — which leads to catastrophic results — until she is shipped off to an elite boarding school. There, she recasts herself as a poor scholarship student — a ruse that works until Mack’s teenage son unexpectedly shows up on campus.

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

Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder from Cornerstone also commented, “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.”

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