×

Author Nicholas Sparks Thinks ‘The Choice’ Will ‘Speak to an Authenticity That People Will Recognize’

The author of nearly 20 romance novels, Nicholas Sparks has contributed to the cinematic adaptations of his written works since the release of “A Message in a Bottle” in 1999.

“I’ve always been involved in the script oversight, notes, casting and selection of the director,” Sparks told Variety on Monday at the Los Angeles premiere of Lionsgate’s “The Choice” — which marks the 11th Nicholas Sparks adaptation. “Film is always a very collaborative process. You’ve got a lot of voices — studio voices, producers’ voices, directors’ voices, casts’ voice. I was always one of those voices,” said Sparks, who also foresees being involved in any future adaptations of his novels.

As his dynamic love stories continued to be developed into films, the bestselling author’s involvement in the productions increased; a progression he described as “a natural evolution.” Sparks was credited as a producer for “Safe Haven” (2013), “The Best of Me” (2014), “The Longest Ride” (2015) and “The Choice,” which is also the first independent feature from Nicholas Sparks Productions, the production company he launched with creative partner Theresa Park in 2012.

Of all the romances he’s contrived, Sparks said “The Choice” — which follows the trials and tribulations of a small town couple’s relationship — sets itself apart with humor, authenticity and relatability.

“It’ll speak to an authenticity that people will recognize in their own lives,” the author of books including beloved story “The Notebook” said.

Also praising “The Choice’s” humor was Benjamin Walker, who plays Travis Shaw in the film.

“I’m a little biased, but I think we have the best chemistry, and it’s expressed particularly in the sense of humor that we share,” Walker said of his connection with on-screen love interest Teresa Palmer. “We ad-libbed a lot of the movie, and there’s a lot of comedy that I don’t really see in the other [Nicholas Sparks] movies.”

“Our story is beautiful because there’s a third part to our story, where it’s not just about falling in love and how passionate that can be,” said Palmer of her on-screen romance with Walker, which spanned a ten-year period in the film.

“[Sparks] trusted his writing, he trusted Bryan Sipe, the screenwriter, and trusted us to bring it to life. If it’s not good, joke’s on him,” Walker said.

Added co-star Noree Victoria, “This is one of the first Nicholas Sparks movies that is so diversified. I’m a fan of anyone who can write from a perspective of the human condition and tell our stories.”

Sparks, Walker, Palmer and Victoria were joined at the premiere by director Ross Katz, producer Peter Safran and “The Choice” co-stars Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Welling, Brad James, Anna Enger and Jesse C. Boyd.

“The Choice” marks Katz’s third directing effort, behind 2014’s “Adult Beginners” and 2009’s “Taking Chance” — but his first in the romance genre.

“I wanted to do this movie so badly,” Katz said. “I went to Lionsgate and Peter Safran and I just threw myself in front of them and basically said, ‘I’ve got to do this movie.’ I love Nick’s books and I love the world he creates.”

Also in attendance at the premiere were Sasha Alexander, “Orange is the New Black’s” Madeline Brewer, Renee Olstead, “Shadowhunters'” Katherine McNamara and “The Bachelor’s” Becca Tilley.

The premiere screening of “The Choice,”  hosted at ArcLight Hollywood, was followed by a reception at Hollywood’s Le Jardin, where guests enjoyed music, an assortment of wines and hors d’oeuvres.

Lionsgate’s “The Choice” bows Feb. 5.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Marvel Cinematic Universe Star Pom Klementieff Talks Disney-Fox Merger, X-Men Dreams

    Pom Klementieff may have entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” followed by appearances in the last two “Avengers” movies, but that wasn’t her original superhero plan. “My dream was to be in X-Men,” she told Variety on Thursday at the Chanel dinner for its new fragrance Gabrielle [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Be Honored at amfAR Gala Los Angeles

    Gwyneth Paltrow and art dealer Larry Gagosian are set to be honored at the 2019 amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The American Foundation for AIDS Research announced that the two honorees will receive the Award of Courage for their commitment in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as for their other humanitarian efforts. Christina [...]

  • David Mandel Sam Richardson

    'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Veep,' 'When They See Us' Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees Reception

    Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Television Academy’s Emmy nominees writers reception on Tuesday night in North Hollywood. There, ceremony hosts, “Escape at Dannemora” star Eric Lange and “Veep’s” Sam Richardson, kept the show moving by tossing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content