As the author of A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Dear John, and The Last Song, Nicholas Sparks has been a reliable provider to the cinematic romantic dramas of the last decade. As such, it’s completely understandable that Relativity Media fought hard to acquire the screen rights to his next work, Safe Haven, which sees release on September 14th.
Sparks shakes things up a bit with Haven. There’s still an element of romance, and as always, North Carolina is Sparks’ go-to setting. But Haven flirts with the thriller genre as young Katie “struggles with a dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her” just as she begins to fall in love. Hit the jump for the full press release.
RELATIVITY MEDIA FINDS A “SAFE HAVEN” IN UPCOMING NICHOLAS SPARKS NOVEL
On the heels of the success of “Dear John,” Relativity Media Acquires Rights to Sparks’ Upcoming Novel “Safe Haven” & Inks Unprecedented Deal with Prolific Author
LOS ANGELES, CA, AUGUST 5, 2010 – Relativity Media, LLC (RML) has acquired Nicholas Sparks’ upcoming novel Safe Haven which will be released in bookstores on September 14th by Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group. Relativity acquired the rights late last night in a heated bidding war. Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill Entertainment will produce the film along with Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh and author Nicholas Sparks. Relativity’s Tucker Tooley will serve as executive producer.
The deal marks a unique collaboration between Grand Central Publishing and Relativity Media, which will provide marketing and promotional support of the book’s upcoming September release, by utilizing the Rogue Network, which now receives over 50 million views a month, and many of Relativity’s other unique marketing outlets.
Sparks’ new novel follows Katie, a young North Carolina woman, determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships. As she begins to fall in love, she struggles with a dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her.
Bowen and Godfrey previously produced with Kavanaugh on “Dear John,” which starred Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried and grossed over $110 million worldwide. This acquisition marks another high profile move for Relativity who recently acquired the marketing and distribution operations of Overture Films. Relativity will be self-distributing the film which is already on a fast track to production.
“We had an extraordinary and successful experience working with Nicholas, Marty and Wyck on “Dear John”,” said Kavanaugh, Founder and CEO of Relativity Media. “Nicholas is one of the few great writers who can create epic love stories. He is our generation’s most prolific writer, and has reset the bar once again with Safe Haven. Not only is this one of the deepest and most emotional love stories he has created, it also has a thriller twist that makes this his most commercial and exciting property yet. Marty and Wyck know how to deliver love stories with an edge, as evidenced by “Dear John” and the “Twilight” franchise. We believe this project has similar if not more potential to go the distance.”
“Nicholas Sparks has created a remarkable and exciting brand in the underserved market for romance,” said Marty Bowen. “Audiences are captivated by his works, and they have proven to be marvelous source material for films. We are thrilled to be back in business with Ryan, Tucker and our friends at Relativity.”
“I had a wonderful experience working with Relativity and Temple Hill on “Dear John,” and I’m excited to be working with them again,” said Sparks. “I am really proud of Safe Haven. I think audiences are going to identify with Katie, who, like many of us, faces enormous struggles in life. The anticipation for the work, and now the movie, is simply thrilling.”
Previous Sparks film adaptations include: “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle,” “A Walk to Remember,” “Nights in Rodanthe,” “The Last Song,” “Dear John” and the upcoming “The Lucky One.” To date, the films have grossed more than half a billion dollars worldwide.
UTA, which represents Sparks, handled the sale on behalf of Sparks and his NY-based publishing agent, Theresa Park of The Park Literary Group. Sparks is additionally represented by attorney Scott Schwimer.
About Nicholas Sparks
In l994, at the age of 28, Nicholas Sparks wrote The Notebook over a period of six months. In October 1995, rights to The Notebook were sold to Warner Books. It was published in October 1996, and he followed that with Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005), At First Sight (a sequel to True Believer) (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009) and a non-fiction memoir, Three Weeks With My Brother (2004), written with his brother, Micah, all with Warner Books / Grand Central Publishing. All were domestic and international best sellers and were translated into more than 35 languages. His newest novel, Safe Haven, will be released on September 14, 2010.
About Relativity Media, LLC
Relativity Media, LLC is a media and entertainment company that focuses on creating, financing and distributing first class, studio-quality entertainment content and intellectual property across multiple platforms, as well as making strategic partnerships with, and opportunistic investments in, media and entertainment-related companies and assets. Relativity owns and operates Rogue, a company that specializes in the production and distribution of films from new and cutting edge filmmakers. Building upon its foundation of financing and producing films, Relativity has grown to include music, sports and television divisions and the next-generation social network iamrogue.com. Relativity also owns and operates RelativityREAL, Relativity’s television arm, which has become one of the leading suppliers of reality television with more than 20 shows in episodic or pilot. RelativityREAL is run by Tom Forman; his past successes include Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Kid Nation. This year, Relativity acquired the marketing and distribution operations of Overture Films and reached a first of its kind TV pay deal with Netflix.
To date, Relativity has committed to, produced and/or financed more than 200 studio-quality motion pictures through 2014. Released films have accumulated more than $13.0 billion in worldwide box office revenue. Relativity’s recent films include Dear John, Brothers, The Wolfman, It’s Complicated, Zombieland, Couples Retreat, The Bounty Hunter and, most recently, Get Him to the Greek, Robin Hood and Grown Ups. Upcoming films for Relativity include The Fighter, Despicable Me, Charlie St. Cloud, Salt, Nanny McPhee 2, The Social Network as well as James Cameron’s Sanctum in 3D and Wes Craven’s My Soul To Take in 3D. Twenty-nine of the company’s films have opened at No. 1 at the box office. Relativity films have earned 43 Oscar® nominations, including nods for Nine, A Serious Man, Frost/Nixon, Atonement, American Gangster and 3:10 to Yuma. Forty-eight of Relativity’s films have each generated more than $100 million in worldwide box-office receipts.