Nicholas Sparks, the author of romantic weepies like “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember,” “Dear John” and “The Last Song,” is teaming up with Universal Pictures to produce three feature films.
The films will be based on some of her recent novels, including “The Wish,” a moving story about first love. During the pandemic alone, Sparks has produced “The Return,” which was released in September 2020 and recently tapped into film, as well as “The Wish,” which was released in September 2021. Her 23rd novel, “Dreamland,” will be published in September 2022.
The announcement comes as part of a first production deal with Universal.
Zack Hayden will produce “The Wish” for Anonymous Content under the supervision of Anonymous Content CEO Dawn Olmstead and CCO David Levin. They will work alongside literary agent and longtime Sparks collaborator Theresa Park, as well as Universal Pictures vice president of production development Lexi Barta.
“Nick Sparks’ evocative novels have served as beloved cultural touchstones, with strong characters and powerful themes that make them ideal for film adaptation,” said Universal Pictures President Peter Cramer. “We are honored to partner with Nick, Theresa and Anonymous Content on these new films, which we know will build on her successful track record of captivating audiences around the world.”
Since Sparks wrote her first novel “The Notebook” in 1996, 11 of her books have been adapted into feature films. These films, including “The Notebook” with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, “A Walk to Remember” with Mandy Moore”, “Dear John” with Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried and “The Last Song” with Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, have collectively grossed over $750 million at the worldwide box office.
And his work is no longer limited by the page and the screen. A Broadway musical adaptation of “The Notebook” is currently in development by producers Kevin McCollum and Kurt Deutsch, with music and lyrics penned by Ingrid Michaelson and Bekah Brunstetter.
“Nicholas Sparks has given us over 20 novels and almost as many films, each skillfully evoking every possible human emotion,” said Dawn Olmstead, CEO of Anonymous Content. “Across page and screen, it takes readers and viewers deep into the lives of these characters and more than ever we need these stories and we feel so connected to their themes of love, family, difficulties and resilience. We’re thrilled to team up with him, Theresa, and the team at Universal to bring more of these epic love stories to audiences.
“A writer couldn’t ask for better producing partners than Anonymous Content, whose taste and history of making award-winning film and TV is undisputed. Zack, David and Dawn are as savvy and sophisticated as they come,” Sparks said. “Also, it’s always been my dream to have my film adaptations at Universal Pictures — they really are the gold standard, famous for their high-quality dramas of all kinds. As for longtime executives Donna Langley and Peter Cramer, their class, reputation and success speak for themselves.
Park previously partnered with Sparks on feature films “The Best Of Me”, “The Longest Ride” and “The Choice”, all based on Sparks’ novels. A literary agent and co-founder of Park and Fine Literary and Media in New York, she is also the director of Per Capita Productions. Separately, under her Per Capita banner, Park produced “After Yang,” which debuted at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. She also produced “Bones and All,” director Luca Guadagnino’s American feature debut.
Sparks is represented by Howie Sanders, Co-Head of Anonymous Content Media Rights Department, Park & Fine Literary and Media, and Scott Schwimer Esq.