Buyer sparks to ‘Believer’

A 'True' story wows Village

Scott Steindorff’s Stone Village has acquired screen rights to Nicholas Sparks’ bestseller “True Believer” in a deal worth seven figures that also includes the right to acquire follow-up novel “At First Sight.”

Sparks wrote “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Message in a Bottle.” “True Believer” has comparable love story components but is also propelled by supernatural elements. It has topped the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks.

Story concerns a writer for Scientific American who debunks myths and frauds. He heads to a small town in North Carolina, falls in love with the granddaughter of the town psychic and tries to reconcile his cynical side with a desire to believe.

UTA-brokered deal is one of the richer book pacts signed of late, with the largesse owed largely to the momentum the author gained from the screen version of “The Notebook.”

Steindorff said Stone Village partner Robin Greenspun found the book and that Steindorff has been trying to work up a deal for several months. He will use his own coin to develop a script, then set it up with a financier.

Steindorff just produced HBO’s “Empire Falls” and is producing “Turistas,” the soon-to-shoot John Stockwell-directed drama financed by 2929 Prods. He has a New Line deal on “Love in the Time of Cholera,” which Ron Harwood is scripting.

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