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'The Longest Ride': Scott Eastwood joins latest Nicholas Sparks movie

The latest best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel turned major motion picture has found its leading man. On April 30 Deadline exclusively broke the news that actor Scott Eastwood will be appearing as the male lead in the upcoming film "The Longest Ride," based on a Nicholas Sparks book released in 2013. The film's theatrical release is scheduled for early spring 2015.

Scott Eastwood
Photo by Kevin Winter

Eastwood will play Luke Collins, a young man who falls in love with college student Sophie. The film will follow a ninety-year-old man who is involved in a serious car accident with his wife and uses the time to reflect on his life. Across town, a young couple is falling in love and the two stories will intertwine. The film is currently in development by Fox 2000, who won the rights to the film last year after the book was released.

Eastwood, who is the son of actor and director Clint Eastwood, has already appeared in several film and television roles in addition to modeling work. Some of those films include "Gran Torino," "Invictus" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D." Filming for the movie is expected to begin later this year and will be directed by George Tillman Jr.

On April 30 Comingsoon.net revealed that the film tells the lives of two men, who are both nearing the end of life. One is a man dying in a car crash while remembering his love for his departed wife and the other is a wounded bull rider (Eastwood) who has fallen for a woman named Sophie Danko. The themes of love and loss exist in this story just like similar Nicholas Sparks books.

The film was fast tracked to production due to the success of previous books, including the breakout success "The Notebook," "Safe Haven" and "Dear John." Sparks has written seventeen romantic drama fiction novels over the years, thirteen of which have been adapted for the big screen. Two more novels were purchased by the major movie studio, although it's unclear if they will be filmed.

Most of the stories are set in North Carolina, the state where Sparks currently resides. "The Longest Ride" is the author's eighteenth novel and was released last September. The film is scheduled for release in April 2015, with filming beginning on the East Coast this summer. More casting announcements for the film are expected in the coming weeks.