Julia Roberts Illustration by Tim Bower
EW Staff
May 07, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

by Matthew Flamm and Karen Valby

Here’s a Cinderella story. Onetime working girl Tracy Quan can rest assured that her ”Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl: A Nancy Chan Novel” has found its Prince and Princess Charming. With all his firsthand knowledge of ”Sex and the City,” Darren Star was an obvious choice to snap up the film rights.

And now Julia Roberts’ Shoelace Productions has joined the party. Their sexy partnering lends the project a certain amount of hooker cred that isn’t lost on Salon.com columnist Quan. ”The union of Darren and Julia is so perfect,” says the author. ”He understands call girls, that we can act very much like a girl but think more like a man. And Julia played a prostitute in ‘Pretty Woman,’ so it makes perfect poetic sense that she’s doing the producer thing here.”

Quan says her novel ”was influenced by everything from ‘Moll Flanders’ to the role of Mary Magdalene in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar”’ to ”Pretty Woman.” ”The story of Nancy Chan is the result of all those myths coming together, with ‘The Happy Hooker’ thrown in there.”

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