Ross Katz is ready to make "The Choice."
The two-time Academy Award-nominated producer ("In the Bedroom," "Lost in Translation") is set to direct the big-screen adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' romantic drama about a man and woman who meet as neighbors in a small coastal town in North Carolina and end up pursuing a love affair over a decade.
Katz, who made his directing debut on HBO's "Taking Chance" in 2009, will direct "The Choice" from a script by Bryan Sipe. Shooting is scheduled to start next month, with Nicholas Sparks Productions and the Safran Co. ("The Conjuring") producing and financing the film.
"The Choice" will be the 11th Sparks novel made into a movie, a roster that includes "The Best of Me," which hits theaters in October, and "The Longest Ride," which is in post-production.
"We are proud to have attracted such a talented and well-regarded director to helm our first independently produced feature film," Sparks said in a statement. He added, "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 flicks have done solid business at the box office in the past, though recent examples like "Safe Haven" and "The Lucky One" have fallen off compared with his all-time peak, "The Notebook," which grossed $81 million in 2004.
Lionsgate will distribute "The Choice" in North America, the U.K. and Latin America.
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