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Nicholas Sparks adaptations have made Hollywood big money, so anytime the author writes a new book, it starts a bidding war between the major studios. His latest novel, The Longest Ride won’t even be published until September, but Fox 2000 has already won a bidding war for the rights to the book.
According to Deadline, Fox 2000 is close to reaching a deal with Sparks, paying him $5 million for The Longest Ride. That’s the usual going rate for his material. Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen of Temple Hill have signed on to produce.
The studio beat out Warner Bros. and Relativity Media. It hopes to get the film ready by Valentine’s Day, 2015.
CinemaBlend notes that eight Sparks novels have already been turned into movies. The latest is Safe Heaven, which opened on Valentine’s Day last week. During its opening weekend, the film grossed $21.4 million.
“It has been a dream of ours for many years to bring one of Nicholas Sparks’ books to life as a film,” Fox 2000’s Elizabeth Gabler told Deadline. “We are elated that this dream has finally been realized with The Longest Ride. This wonderful novel captures the finest elements we seek for our films – an incredible story about love and the strength of the human spirit. We look forward to a wonderful partnership with Nicholas and [producer Theresa Park].”
Gabler recently produced Life of Pi, which is up for the Best Picture Oscar Sunday.
The Longest Ride hits bookstores on Sept. 24.