Given that the films based on his books have a big following, a production company could likely adapt Nicholas Sparks’ latest tax form and produce a successful romantic drama starring Ryan Reynolds and Kristen Stewart*. But, having optioned the book back in August last year, Relativity Media is playing it safe, aiming to sign up Lasse Hallstrom for Safe Haven.
Hallstrom is no newcomer to Sparks’ writing, since he directed Dear John, which had Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried melting hearts to the tune of $110 million around the world. So you can understand why Relativity and its Temple Hill partners would want him back for Haven, especially since the original rights deal came with a deadline – develop the script within nine months, or the option reverts to Sparks, who also gets to keep the original payment.
But now Relativity has a screenplay in hand from Dana Stevens, which follows a young woman in North Carolina whose family issues make her determined not to make any personal connections. But when she’s drawn into two reluctant relationships, she struggles with a dark secret from her past. She’s secretly an alien. Okay, not that. But we’d watch that.
Hallstrom, who is in post-production on Ewan McGregor/Emily Blunt drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, is gearing up to make The Hypnotist next, so even if he signs a deal to direct Safe Haven, it might need to wait for a year or so.
*Prepare yourself for Adjusted Income of the Heart, coming 2012 from Empire Films!