With over 50 million copies of his books in print, author and screenwriter Nicholas Sparks is Hollywood's version of King Midas, with films like Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, and The Notebook to his credit.
For an author who has already achieved fame and fortune, this month's premier of The Last Song starring Miley Cyrus could easily be classified as icing on the cake. Yet for Sparks, it is yet another reason why he is so successful.
Simply put, actors and actresses fight to be cast in his films. Back in 2002, starlet Mandy Moore fought to play the role of Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember. Negotiating with the author nearly a decade later, Miley Cyrus took Mandy's lead and used it as inspiration.
"Disney exec Jason Reed met with Cyrus, who mentioned admiring A Walk to Remember, and before you can say two of those "7 Things I Hate," Sparks had an idea about a romance/family drama combo that pleased Cyrus, her family, and the producers," Elizabeth Snead of Zap2It said.
"She wanted to do a romance," said Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment. "I know that she loves Nicholas Sparks and her family is also religious, and he's sort of a faith-based author so it spoke to her on that level."
As a result, Sparks met with Cyrus and asked her a few basic questions before sitting down to write a screenplay for the film, which also became his next novel. The resulting story, finds Cyrus playing a rebellious young girl spending the summer with her estranged father when she falls in love with a local hunk.
"It was the best summer of my life," Cyrus recalled giddily of filming. "I think every girl is going to walk away from the movie wishing something like this would happen to her."
The Last Song premieres March 31st in theatres across the country.