Thesp would star with Josh Duhamel in Nicholas Sparks adaptation

“Rock of Ages” star Julianne Hough is in negotiations to star opposite Josh Duhamel in Relativity Media’s “Safe Haven,” based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks.

Lasse Hallstrom is directing from a script by Dana Stevens and Les Bohem.

Hough is making a deal to play Katie Feldman, a young woman whose arrival in a small North Carolina town prompts its tight-knit community to question her mysterious past. Temple Hill Entertainment principals Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are producing with Sparks and Relativity topper Ryan Kavanaugh, while Relativity prexy Tucker Tooley will exec produce.

A priority pic for the studio, “Safe Haven” is skedded to hit theaters on Feb. 8, 2013.

Hough broke out on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and went on to star in Screen Gems’ musical “Burlesque” alongside Cher and Christina Aguilera. After starring in Paramount’s “Footloose” remake, Hough beat out tough competition for the female lead in New Line’s musical “Rock of Ages,” which opens June 15. Thesp recently wrapped the lead in Diablo Cody’s untitled directorial debut, in which she plays conservative woman who suffers a crisis of faith after surviving a plane crash.

Hough is repped by CAA and Azoff, Geary, Paul, Smith Management.

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