A novel approach to making blockbuster movies
The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron and out next week, is not just another Hollywood romance, it's another Hollywood romance from author Nicholas Sparks.
For the uninitiated, Sparks is one of the most prodigious producers of romantic-drama fodder out there. His books have racked up £50m in sales worldwide, while his book-to-film ratio is similarly impressive: of 16 published novels, seven have been turned into films and a further two are in production.
Probably best known of all is 2004's The Notebook, where Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams won the hearts of millions, and the "Best Kiss" prize at the MTV Movie Awards. If you haven't seen one, you'll have probably seen one of the posters, all of which share soft tones, pastel hues and couples in tender embraces.
Far from the reclusive-author type, Sparks, 46, is as open and media-friendly as a fan could hope for. "He's 5ft 10in and weighs 185lb," reads his biography. "He attends church regularly and reads 125 books a year." Whether it's through his prodigious reading that he discovered his magic formula for success is unclear, but with the stars in his films as high profile as Kevin Costner (Message in a Bottle) or Richard Gere (Nights in Rodanthe), Sparks now works in the knowledge that he will likely sell the film rights before the book reaches bookshops. Maybe it's he who is really the lucky one...
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust