Relativity Buys Rights to Sparks’ ‘Safe Haven’

Kavanaugh's company beats out major studios to get upcoming thriller from “Dear John” author

The industry feeding frenzy over movie rights to Nicholas Sparks’ upcoming novel “Safe Haven” is over.

Defying expectations, Relativity Media has emerged as the winner. Ryan Kavanaugh’s company snapped up the rights to “The Notebook” author’s latest novel late Wednesday night, beating out such rumored contenders as Warner Brothers, Sony, and Disney.

The book will be released in September and is described as a thriller. That’s a first for Sparks, who is best known for sudsy romances such as “Dear John” and “The Last Song,” both of which were turned into hit films.

Not coincidentally, Kavanaugh co-produced the film version of "Dear John."

“Nicholas is one of the few great writers who can create epic love stories. He is our generation’s most prolific writer, and has reset the bar once again with ‘Safe Haven,’” Kavanaugh said in a statement.

Relativity did not reveal how much it had paid for the rights to book, but it said that Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill Entertainment will produce the film along with Kavanaugh and Sparks. Relativity’s Tucker Tooley will serve as executive producer.