Karen Walton picked to adapt Ian Hamilton’s THE WATER RAT OF WANCHAI.

THR is reporting that Karen Walton has been picked to bring Ian Hamilton‘s Ava Lee to the big screen. Lee is a Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant that specializes in recovering fortunes using less than traditional (or legal) means to do so. Working with a Hong Kong citizen that is known as Uncle, they often work with organized crime to accomplish their goals.

Karen Walton gained notoriety for writing GINGER SNAPS, an award-winning horror film that used lychanthropy (that which turns folks into werewolves) as a metaphor for puberty as two teenage girls deal with one having been bitten by a wolf and is now dealing with the consequences. She has since worked on a number of Canadian projects as well as Showtime’s QUEEN AS FOLK series.

The plan is to develop the first Lee novel, THE WATER RAT OF WANCHAI, with hopes of creating a franchise.

In The Water Rat of Wanchai Ava is persuaded by an old friend of Uncle’s to help his nephew who is owed $5 million from a seafood company. The nephew’s Hong Kong business financed purchase orders for a company that was producing cooked shrimp for a major U.S. retailer. The deal went sideways. The money disappeared.

On a journey that takes her from Toronto to Seattle to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guyana, and the British Virgin Islands, Ava encounters everything from the Thai katoey culture to corrupt but helpful law enforcers. But it’s in Guyana where she meets her match: Captain Robbins, a huge hulk of a man and godfather-like figure who controls the police, politicians, and criminals alike. In exchange for his help, he decides he wants of piece of Ava’s $5 million action and will do whatever it takes to get his fair share …

This is only the first step, no director or actors have been attached at this time.