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James Marsden in Talks to Replace Paul Walker in Nicholas Sparks’ ‘The Best of Me’

Michael Hoffman is directing Relativity’s adaptation of the bestselling book, which also stars Michelle Monaghan

Fresh off “Anchorman 2,” James Marsden has been offered the lead in Relativity’s “The Best of Me” and is in early talks to accept the role, which was initially slated for Paul Walker before his tragic death in November, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.

Michael Hoffman is directing the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ bestseller, which also stars Michelle Monaghan.

Also Read: ‘Homeland’ Star Rupert Friend in Talks to Replace Paul Walker in ‘Agent 47’ (Exclusive)

Story follows former high school sweethearts who reunite after 20 years apart when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Sparks fly again, but the forces that drove them apart back then get in the way once more.

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Hoffman wrote the script with J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters. Sparks and his producing partner Theresa Park are producing the film with Denise DiNovi and Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. Relativity president Tucker Tooley will executive produce with Richard Middleton.

Also Read: Paul Walker Death: Porsche Was Traveling More Than 100 MPH, Coroner Finds

Marsden, who just wrapped the Vince Vaughn comedy “Business Trip,” is represented by WME and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.

Deadline broke the news.

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