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...
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
EastEnders Christmas special, review: Brilliant Danny Dyer glues you to your seat
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman staying on for whole season as Clara Oswald
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader