'The Best of Me' to be produced by Di Novi

Warner Bros. has bought feature rights to Nicholas Sparks’ upcoming novel “The Best of Me,” the fifth Sparks property that the studio’s put into development.

Studio confirmed the deal Friday. Project’s been set with Warner-based Denise Di Novi, who’s produced a quartet of Sparks film adaptations — “Message in a Bottle,” “A Walk to Remember,” “Nights in Rodanthe” and upcoming “The Lucky One,” starring Zac Efron.

“The Best of Me” due to be published by Grand Central in October, centers on two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they’ve taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined — and when they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

Other Sparks’ adaptations include New Line’s “The Notebook,” Disney’s “The Last Song” and Relativity Media’s upcoming novel “Safe Haven” with Lasse Hallstrom attached to direct.

Di Novi told Variety, “Nicholas Sparks delivers a compelling and relatable love story every time and his books have connected with theater audiences every time they are adapted. I am thrilled and honored to bring the latest, and my fifth, to the screen in partnership with Warner Brothers.”

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