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