EXCLUSIVE: Luke Greenfield, director of the sleepers The Girl Next Door and Let’s Be Cops, has made a deal at DreamWorks to direct Destiny, a script he’s co-writing with Dana Stevens, who most recently scripted The Dive for producer James Cameron, director Francis Lawrence and Jennifer Lawrence. Greenfield has a few projects percolating — The Holiday Club at Fox/Chernin Entertainment and Slingshot with Gulfstream Pictures among them — but this one is exceptional because it brings full circle his absolute devotion to DreamWorks chief Steven Spielberg.

When he was 16, Greenfield’s mother wrote to Spielberg and attached her son’s Super-8 films, asking if he thought the kid might have what it took to become a filmmaker. The package reached Spielberg, who watched and responded with a two-page letter that featured advice about storytelling and encouragement that Greenfield keep at it. The letter ended with “maybe someday our paths with cross.”

That began to happen 16 years later when Spielberg saw The Girl Next Door and asked Greenfield to come in for a meeting. Surprised by the filmmaker with news that he’d lit a teenager’s fuse, Spielberg asked Greenfield to pitch something. He responded with Destiny, a supernatural love story about a struggling designer who must overcome his fears and uncertainty, a concept Greenfield wrote as a result of the letter in 1998. The filmmaker was under contract to New Regency and obliged to give them first crack at his material. It languished, and when Greenfield recently pitched it to DreamWorks president Holly Bario, she bought it.

Greenfield will produce the film, and Family Guy‘s Chris Sheridan and Juan Castro (Role Models) will be co-producers. And Greenfield is finally working for his idol. He’s repped by Paradigm, Fewlas Entertainment’s Patrick Baker and lawyered by Behr Abramson Levy. Stevens, one of the scribes who adapted the John D. MacDonald novel The Deep Blue Good By for Christian Bale to star in for director James Mangold, is repped by WME.