Relativity Media has closed a deal with Oscar and DGA-nominee Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John) to direct their upcoming film Safe Haven, based on the latest novel from best-selling author Nicholas Sparks, announced Relativity's President of Worldwide Production Tucker Tooley. The film is scheduled to head into production this year.

Sparks' previous books have been made into such hit films as The Notebook, The Last Song, Nights in Rodanthe and Dear John. His latest, Safe Haven, is a gripping love story infused with suspense and discovery. When a young woman escaping her past moves to a small North Carolina town, and falls for a loving widowed father, he heals her heart, and helps her escape the danger that threatens her.

"Lasse is an incredibly gifted director," says Tooley. "He was the obvious choice to bring Safe Haven to life, as he showed incredible talent and affinity for Nicholas' material on Dear John." He added, "Relativity, Nicholas, Marty, and Wyck are all thrilled to be working with him again."

Alongside Relativity's CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and author Nicholas Sparks, the film is being produced by Temple Hill Entertainment's Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey. Relativity's Tooley will serve as executive producer. The screenplay is written by Dana Stevens (City of Angels).

Hallstrom is repped by UTA.