By Nicole Sperling
Updated April 29, 2010 at 07:01 PM EDT

In what could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, Lionsgate announced today that it has acquired distribution rights to One for the Money, the adaptation of Janet Evanovich’s first novel in her bestselling Stephanie Plum series. Katherine Heigl will play the gutsy, bounty-hunting heroine, whose adventures have spawned 19 books.

Last Song helmer Julie Ann Robinson, who previously directed Heigl on Grey’s Anatomy, will direct from a script recently rewritten by Liz Brixius (Nurse Jackie). Heigl will play the newly-divorced, recently laid-off 30-year old Plum, who, desperate for income, agrees to work for her slimy cousin and his bail bond company. She lands a huge case, a local cop wanted for murder. Turns out the cop is the guy who broke her heart in high school, and her investigation embroils her in murder, deceit, and a bit of romance.

One for the Money has been in development at Columbia Pictures since the mid-90s. Producer Lakeshore Entertainment acquired the property from Columbia and will now produce along with Lionsgate and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. Production is set to begin on July 12.