Studio obtains rights to Sparks bestseller
Warner Bros. has cut a seven-figure deal for the movie rights to “The Lucky One,” the latest bestseller by Nicholas Sparks.The film will be produced by Denise Di Novi, in what marks her fourth WB-based Sparks adaptation. She previously produced “Nights in Rodanthe,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Message in a Bottle” for WB. Sparks’ “The Notebook” was a sleeper hit in 2004 for New Line. Published last month by Grand Central Publishing, “The Lucky One” tells the story of Logan Thibault, a Marine who survives three tours in Iraq. He attributes his good fortune to a photograph he carried of a woman he has never met, and he sets out to meet his good-luck charm when he returns to North Carolina. The author’s romance-themed fiction continues to spark movie deals at a time when studios aren’t really biting on books. “The Lucky One” was one of several significant titles being shopped for features. Still available are the John Grisham novel “The Associate” and “South of Broad,” the long-awaited novel by “Prince of Tides” author Pat Conroy. Though those authors once made quick multimillion-dollar movie paydays — Conroy’s “Beach Music” went for more than $5 million to Paramount, and Grisham got $8 million for “The Runaway Jury” from New Regency — those kinds of megabuck deals are as dead as disco. Sparks has several other books set for film, including the Lasse Hallstrom-directed “Dear John,” in production for Screen Gems. Sparks is writing a new novel and an accompanying screenplay that is being custom-fit as a star vehicle for Miley Cyrus at Disney. UTA brokered the deal with Park Literary Group.