Ross Katz to Direct Adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice

Ross Katz has been nominated for two Oscars for his work as a producer on Todd Field’s In the Bedroom and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, but his directing career is only just beginning, having directed Kevin Bacon from his own script for the TV movie Taking Chance (for which Katz won DGA and WGA honors) and with his second movie Adult Beginners premiering in the Toronto International Film Festival this coming week.

Now comes word that Katz has been chosen by author Nicholas Sparks’ relatively new production company Nicholas Sparks Productions to direct an adaptation of Sparks’ best-selling novel The Choice. Released in 2007, the novel follows the journey of Travis Parker and Gabby Holland, two young neighbors in a small coastal town who ultimately become lovers despite having to face many barriers.

With a screenplay by Bryan Sipes, the 11th Nicholas Sparks book to be turned into a movie is gearing up to start production in October in Wilmington, North Carolina, although no cast has been announced as of yet. Sparks will co-produce with partners Theresa Park and Peter Safran. Lionsgate bought the distribution rights for the film in North America, the UK and Latin America this past spring.

Nicholas Sparks had to say in a press release sent out by his production company: “We are proud to have attracted such a talented and well-regarded director to helm our first independently produced feature film due in large part to Bryan’s beautiful and original script.”

With Park adding, “We know that Ross will bring a fresh, comic and yet poignant flavor to ‘The Choice’ that will update audiences’ and critics’ expectations about what a Nicholas Sparks film is.”

Sparks’ next two adaptations The Best of Me and The Longest Ride are currently in post-production for their releases on October 17 and April 10, 2015, respectively.

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