EXCLUSIVE: Relativity has acquired from Warner Bros The Best of Me, a fully developed package that includes the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, and script by J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters. Michael Hoffman, who is rewriting the script with Fetters, is set to direct. It puts Relativity back in business with Sparks, whose Safe Haven was released in February and grossed over $96 million worldwide. Relativity also adapted the Sparks novel Dear John, which grossed over $114 million worldwide.
Hoffman, who helmed The Last Station and The Emperor’s Club, has been working on the project since not long after Warner Bros acquired it for a sum in the vicinity of $2 million against $5 million, which at the time was the going rate for a Sparks novel. Sparks’ frequent collaborator Denise DiNovi s producing with the author and his producing partner Theresa Park. Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh joins them as producer.
Relativity production president Robbie Brenner said the company was eager to do more projects with the author. “Nicholas is one of the most creative and talented authors in the world and in The Best of Me he tells a deeply moving and unforgettable story. We look forward to working with Nicholas, Michael, Will and the entire team on bringing The Best of Me to the big screen.”
Said Sparks: “I’m delighted to work with the talented people at Relativity once again – each experience with them has only deepened my respect and admiration for their forward-looking, collaborative approach to film production and marketing, not to mention my personal friendships with their gifted team.”
The Best Of Me tells the story of former high school sweethearts who see each other after 20 years when they return to their small town for the funeral of a friend. While they attempt to reignite the sparks from two decades ago, the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on. The novel is about first love and second chances.