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The Princess Diaries...

Houston Reads Disney 'Diaries' - By Oliver Jones

NEW YORK (Variety) - More than a year after scoring with the ABC version of ``Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella,'' Whitney Houston is back in the princess business.

Disney has optioned novelist Meg Cabot's book ``The Princess Diaries'' for the pop singer's production company Brownhouse Prods. to develop into a family-oriented feature film.

Scheduled to be published in hardback by Avon's young adult line this coming June, ``Princess'' is said to read like a hip, urban version of ``Eloise.'' It tells the story of feisty and rebellious 16-year-old Mia, who discovers much to her dismay that she is in fact the princess of a small European country. As a result, Mia must suffer though the indignity of ``princess lessons'' at the hands of her stern grandmother.

The picture is on the fast track at Disney, with the manuscript out to screenwriters. Houston will serve as a producer. Disney paid a mid- to low-six figure sum for the rights.

Brownhouse's upcoming feature productions include ``Get Christy Love'' and ``Anything for You'' at Universal and ''Thirty Years to Life'' at Fox.

NEWSFILE: 11 AUGUST 1999

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